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Lockhabt's Memoirs of the Life of /Sir Walter Scott, 
Bart., which divides with Boswell's Life of Johnson the 
honor of leading all lives o£ English men of letters, was 
first published in seven volumes in 1837-1838. A second 
edition, with some corrections, some slight revisions, and 
a few additions, mostly in the form of notes, was pub- 
lished in 1839, and this has remained ever since the stan- 
dard edition. Ijater, in 1848, Lockhart prepared, at the 
request of the publishers of that work, a condensation of 
his magnum opus, and took that occasion to add a few 
facts bearing upon the Life which had occurred since 
the original publication, and a few commen'^s which it 
would not have been in good taste to make in the first 
instance. Thronghout his original work, Lockhart, with 
all his openness of speech, yet refrained from certain per- 
sonal references, the subjects of which were tw) recent 
for remark, and he concealed many names under the dis- 
guise of initials. 

Since the edition of 1839 there have been many issues 
of this great work on both sides of the Atlantic. As late 
as 1861, Messrs. Ticknor and Fields, predecessors of the 
present publishers of the work, issued an edition in nine 
Tolomes, and took occasion to insert some material from 
Lockhart's abridgment. . They prefaced the edition, which 
they dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne, with a brief sketch 
of Lockhart. 


Neither these publiahen nor any others, so far M we 
know, have ever done more than reprint the original 
work, save {or the slight modification just mentioned. 
Meanwhile for the past sixty years, and more especially 
during the past twenty years, a crowd of books has been 
published throwing light on Lockhart's great subject. 
Memoirs, reminiscences, editions of Scott's writings, lit- 
erary studies, articles in reviews and magazines have 
added materially to our knowledge not only of Scott, bat 
of many others of the personages who throng the chapters 
of Lockhart's work. Lockhart himself has been made 
the subject of a generous biography, and it would seem 
as though, lasting as is the fame of the Life, its necessary 
silences were becoming every j^ar more conspicuous. 

Accordingly, the present publishers resolved to issue an 
edition which should repair the damage which Time had 
wrought, and they entrusted tLj editing to Miss Susan 
M. Francis, who through her long conversance with the 
original work, and her familiarity with the literature 
which has grown up about Scott, as well as her knowledge 
of the more or less obscure sources of information, was 
peculiarly competent not only to do the service of Old 
Mortality, but to set in order the inscriptions still to be 
added to the stones of Scott's associates. 

The principle upon which Lockhart's Scott is now 
edited may be stated in very few words. The original 
work is reprinted without change, except that initials have 
been extended to full names in a great many instances, 
obvious printers' errors corrected, and Scott's journals 
revised to conform with the authoritative edition by Mr. 
David Douglas. Then, the text has been annotated by 
fuller aocoonts of many of the persons to whom Scott or 
Lockhart refer, and very many passages have been ex- 


puidtd or ffluminated by extracts from Scott's letters and 
journals, and from a variety of books and articles bearing 
upon the subject. In a number of instances the narrative 
of persons who were living when Lockhart wrote has been 
carried forward to show their after career. All the editor's 
work is indicated by its enclosure in brackets. Lockhart's 
later notes are indicated by the years 1839, 1846, and 
1848, enclosed in parentheses. 

In making this annotation recourse has been had first 
of all to the editions of Scott's Familiar Letters and 
Journal, so thoroughly and admirably edited by Mr. 
David Douglas. No one who undertakes to work at the 
life of Scott fails to confess a deep obligation to this gentle- 
man. Not only so, but Mr. DougUs has repeatedly come 
to the editor's aid in settling those nice points which arise 
in any piece of careful editing. His own notes when used 
always bear his initials at the close. Lang's Life and 
Leitert of LockhaH has also been in frequent use, and of 
general works The Dictionary of National Biography has 
been in constant demand. The more one uses it the more 
one comes to value the accuracy of its statements, and the 
thoroughness with which its subjects have been treated. 
Of the very large number of memoirs and reminiscences 
consultf ^ mention may be made of Sdectiont from the 
Mamacripts of Lady Louisa Stuurt, by permission of 
Messrs. Harper and Brothers, the American publishers of 
the work ; Mrs. Oliphant's William Blackwood and his 
Sons, and the other two works on the great publishing 
houses, Smiles's Memoir of John Murray and Archibald 
Constable and his Literary Correapondente ; Carruth- 
ers's Abbotsford Wotanda and the Catalogue of the Scott 
Centenary Exhibition have been referred to, and the 
memoirs and reminiscences connected with the names of 


Maria Edgeworth, Washington Irving, Leslie; George 
Tichnor, Haydon, Byron, Moore, Charles Mayne Yonng, 
Wordsworth, Crabbe, Lord Cookbum, Miss Ferrier, Mrs. 
Kemble, and others ; while for the later history of the 
Scott family, the Life of Jamet ITope-Scott has been 
serviceable. The attentive reader will readily understand 
that the editor has also gone to numberless books and 
magazine articles for the proper confirmation of petty 
facts and the assurance of accuracy. 

To complete the worth of this edition, the publishers 
have taken pains to illustrate it abundantly with portraits 
and other pictures, and to obtain these they have gone as 
far as possible in every case to the original sources. The 
result is a great English classic of abiding value, faith- 
fully reproduced, and so supplemented by editorial and 
artistic labor as to be brought up to date in all essential 

4 Fabk Stbxet, Bostos. 
Aatonm, 1901. 


BiooBAraioii. Skitoh of Johk Gibsob Lookbabt ^ 



Obisinai, DxoicATioir ,, 


U. Illu.t™tion, of the A»lobiogr.phic.l Fragment. 

tonpans. 1771-1778 . ., 

f7785783 °*^"'''"8''- -Ke»W™«« «t KeUo. 


IV. rUurtration, of the Autobiography eontinued.- 

Aneedote. of Scott's CoUege Life. 1783-1786. 104 

^' toTl^*ir "ontmned. _ Scott', Apprenticediip 
to hiB Father. -Eicnrsion, to the HigUands, etc! 
-Debatmg Soc,etie». _ Early Corrcpondence, 
etc. — WiUiaminaStvuirt. 1786-1790. . . ng 

VI. niMtratioMcontinned. — Stndie.fortheBar — 
Wnon to Northumberland. - Letter on Flod- 
den Field Call to the Bar. 1790-1792 149 


Vn. Fint Expedition into Liddtidals. — Study of 
German. — Folitical Triali, etc. — Specimen o< 
Law Fapert. — Burger's Lenore tnuulated. — 
Diiappointment in Lore. 1792-1796 ... 169 

Ym. Publication of Ballade after Burger. — Scott 
Qaartermaiter of the Edinburgh Light Hone. 

— Eicunion to Cumberland. — GileUnd Welle. 

— Uiss Carpenter. — Marriage. 1796-1797 237 


Waltu Scoit nr ITn •Vmi(i,mc, 

Fiom tU miiilatiin bj Ka;, JB tfca Seottiih National Poiw 
trait Qalltrjr, EiUabiugli. 

Db. Ar.KTATiPEB Adah og 

From the paiatint by Sli Bnir; BaebitD, R. A., in tl» Soot- 
tiA Natioui Portrait Oallor;, Edioborgb. 
Wii.T>i SooTT ("Boaidie "), Groat-grandfatbar of Sir Waltw 

*»" eo 

After the paiatiiig; at Abbotrford. 
WuTiB SooiT, W. S, Father of Sir Waller Seott ... 88 
After the paintiif at Ab1»teford. 


From the miaiatme by Bichard Coiiray, K. A. By pende- 
eion of the Century Co. 
SooiT'e FATHiB'e Hodm, 26 Gioui'a Souaja, EDiMOBaH . 160 
From a photo|Taph. 




John Gibson Locuiabt vu born in th« nuuue of 
Cambuinethan, July 14, 1T94. Hu father, the Rev. 
John Lookhart, wu twice married, and of the obildren of 
hit ar»t wife only one, William, the laird of Milton-Loek- 
hart, reached manhood. The Moond Mrs. Lookhart was 
Elizabeth, the daughter of the Bev. John Gibson, minis- 
ter of St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, and that clergyman's 
namesake was her eldest child. " Every Scottishman has 
his pedigree," says Scott in his fragment of Autobiogra- 
phy, and there is no lack of interest in the honorable one 
of his son-in-law, from the days of Simon Locard of 
the Lee, in the oonnty of Lanark, who was knighted by 
Bobert the Bruce, and after his king's death sailed with 
the good Lord James Douglas, who was bearing his mas- 
ter's heart to the Holy Land, — the heart which Locard 
rescued from the Moors, when Douglas fell fighting in 
Spain, and brought back to Scotland with Lord James's 
body. Then the Looards added to their armorial beat^ 
ings a heart within a fetterlock, and took the name of 
Lookhart. From .«ir Stephen Lookhart of Cleghom, a 
man of note in the court of James III, was descended 
Bobert Lockhart of Birkhill, who fought for the Cove- 
nant, and led the Lanarkshire Whigs at the battle of 
Bothwell Brig. 

n '■! 


Wiiliam LooUuut, tha Comiutn'i gnndMm, manUd 
Violet Inglit, tha heir«M of ConhouM. Ths Utv. John 
Lockhut WM the younger of their two ions. From hi* 
father Lockhart Menu to have inherited hii acholarly 
taatei, while in penon he appears to hare reiembled hia 
mother ; to both he was alwaya the most affectionate and 
deToted of loni. His warmth of feeling, even in ohild- 
bood, aa well aa hi* constitutional reserve, is shown bjr 
his intense suffering at tba loss of a jouaget brother and 
sister, who died within a few days of eaoh other. He did 
not weep lilce the rest of the children, or show other sign 
of emotion, but fell seriously ill, and was long in reoor- 
ering from the shook. From the first he was a delicate 
child, and the removal of the family from country to town, 
when he was in his second year, probably did not tend to 
strengthen him. Dr. Lockhart became minister of the 
CoU<!ge Kirk in Olaapow, and his son in due time en- 
tered the High School there. Ifi after-year* his school- 
mates remembered him as a very clever, but hardly a dili- 
gent boy. Though frequently absent from illness (one of 
these childish maladies caused the deafness in one ear from 
which he suffered), he always kept his place ct the head of 
his class. " He never seemed to learn anything when the 
class was sitting down," wrote a fellow-pupil, "and on 
returning af '«r one of his illnesses, he of course went to 
the bottom, but we had not been five minutes up when he 
began to take places, and he invariably succeeded, some- 
times before the class was dismissed at noon, in getting 
to the top of it again." 

In 1805, when he had but just entered his twelfth year, 
Lockhart matriculated at the University of Glasgow. 
More than fifty years later, two of his cUsrinates wrote 
their recollections of the boy student, — recollections vivid 
enough to show how strong an impression he made on his 
companions. He still was somewhat delicate in health, 


and ktpt a high poiition in hit itudiM mora from tbility 
than iHiduity. A itrong wdm o{ the ludicroua, allMd 
with ■ turn for utin, wh alrMdj one of hie marked 
traitfc At the oloae of the sewion of 1805-6 a little in- 
oideut showt the admiration felt for him by Mme of hie 
oonpaniont. lie had beep diuppointed in not obtaining 
a certain Latin priae, and MTeral of bit friendi, ibaring 
hie feeling, determined to preaent to him a teatimuniaL 
He was very fond of The Lay of the Laat Minitrel, then 
a new book, «> the lade procured a splendidly bound copy, 
and, at their suggestion, the Professor, at the public disi 
tribution of prizes, gave the Tolume with warm commen- 
dations to Johannes Lockhart, ai a prize the studnnts 
had t) mxelves provided. It was not till Lockhart joined 
the logic class (at the age of thirteen), that he suddenly 
onUtripped all his companions whom ho later astonished 
by the amount of Greek whicl. bepro/euedit the Blsck- 
stone examination. It was thought a prnfitaion of rea- 
sonable amount " when a student intimated his willingness 
to translate and be examined critically on Anacrcon, two 
or three of Luoian's dialogues, extracts from Epiotetus, 
Bion, and Moschus, and perhaps a book or two of Homer." 
" But," declares one of his former fellow-students, " Lock- 
hart professed the whole Iliad and Odyssey and I know 
not how much besides." His brilliant success on this 
occasion led to his being offered one of the Snell Exhibi- 
tions to Oxford, _ an offer which was accepted after some 
h« <itotion on account of his youth. He was not yet flf. 
teen, and still wore the round jacket of a schoolboy when 
he was entered at Balliol College. 

One of Lockhart's closest friends at Oxford and ever 
after, Mr. J. H. Christie, describes the young student at 
this time: "Lockhart immediately made his general tal- 
ents felt by bis tutor and his compacions. His most 
remarkable oharaoteristio, however, wa* the exuberant 


spirits which found vent in constant flashes of memment 
brightened and pointed with wit and satire at once droll 
and tormenting. Even a lecture-room was not exempt 
from these irrepressible sallies ; and our tutor, who was 
formal and wished to be gravi, but had not the gift of 
gravity, never felt safe in the presence of his mercurial 
pupil. Lockhart with great readiness comprehended the 
habits and tone of the new society in which he was placed, 
and was not for a moment wanting in any of its require- 
ments ; but this adaptive power never interfered with the 
marked individuality of his own character and bearing. 
He was at once a favorite and formidable. In those days 
he was an incessant caricaturist ; his papers, his books, 
and the walls of his rooms were crowded with portrai- 
tures of his friends and himself — so like as to be unmis- 
takable, with an exaggeration of any peculiarity so droll 
and so provoking as to make the picture anything but 
flattering to the self-love of its subject. This propensity 
was so strong in him that I was surprised when in after- 
life he repressed it at once and forever. In the last 
thirty yrars of his life I do not think he ever drew a car- 
icature." ' 

In these days Lockhart read not only Greek and Latin, 
but French, Italian, and Spanish. German i:<<«rested 
him later. At Balliol he formed some friendships which 
ended only with life ; no man was ever truer to his early 
friends than he, and few have had friends more loyaL' 

^ Quarttrti/ Beview, Tol. oxri. p. 447. 

' To one of theM friends, the Rev. Qeorge Robert Oleiff, CbAplain Gen- 
eral of the Forces, we owe the only authoritative aoconnt of Loekhart's 
eariy life. This is to be found in the intereetioff article, the Life of Lock- 
karl, in the Quarterly Review for October, 1864. Like his friend, Mr. 
Qleig was educated at Glasgow University, waa a Snell Scholar, and wsa 
an ea ■' 7 contributor to Blackwood and to Frater. Later he wrote for both 
the great Reviews. He was long the last survivor of the early Blackwood 
and Fraier groups. He died in 1888, in his ninety-third year. The name 
which stood neit to Lockhart in the alphabetical arraogement of th« first 


He gained his first class in 1818 — he was not yet nine- 
teen—and letumed to his father's house in Glasgow, 
which he was to leave two years later for Edinburgh] 
there to read law and begin the literary work which was to 
prove the real business of his life. He became acquainted 
with WiUiam Blackwood, who, when the young advocate 
was about to visit Germany in the vacation of 1817, 
enabled him to undertake the then toilsome and expen- 
sive journey by paying liberally, not less than jeSOO, it 
is said, for a translation to be made later. Sohlegel's 
Lectures on the History of Literature was the work 
Lockhart selected, and of this incident Mr. Gleig says : 
"Though seldom communicative on such subjects, he 
more than once alluded to the circumstance in after-life, 
and always in the same terms. ' It was a generous act 
on Ebony's part, and a bold one too ; for he had only my 
word for it that I had any acquaintance at all with the 
German language I '" It was a generous act, and also one 
showing keen perception on the part of the pub. 'oher. At 
this time began Lockhart's intimacy with John Wilson, 
with whom he was so largely to share the achievements, 
glorions and inglorious, of Mr. BUckwood's magazine in 
its reckless youth. Unfortunately, the older and more 
experienced writer was no safe guide for his brilliant but 
very young co-worker, still with a boy's fondness for mis- 
chief and a dangerous wit, to which the almost sublime 
selfKsomplacency of the dominant Whig col»ries would 
offer abundant opportunities of exercise. Lockhart wa« 
not a sinner above others, bnt in the end he was made 
something like the scapegoat of aU the offenders, whose 
misdeeds, occasionally serious enough, are sometimes in 
view of the journalistic and critical amenities then prevail- 

cUm wu that of Henry Hurt Milrnan, hia dear friend ig Uter life, and 
one of hi« m«t comrtant and Talned alUea in the Quarter/y. HU eorre- 
•poiaenoa with Uilnuu totma an intereitin( featnn of Lang'i Lift. 


ing in tlie orgaiu of both parties hardly so heinous as to 
account for the excitement tliat attended them. 

What Lockhart thought of these youthful literary 
escapades in his sober and saddened middle age is shown 
in a letter written in 1838 : " I was a raw boy who had 
never before had the least connection with politics or con- 
troversies of any kind, when, arriving in Edinburgh in 
October, 1817, I found my friend John Wilson (ten 
years my senior) busied in helpi<ig Blackwood out of a 
scrape he had got into with some editors of his Magazine, 
and on Wilson's asking me to try my hand at some squib- 
beries in his ud, 1 sat down to do so with as little malice 
as if the assigned subject had been the Court of Pekin. 
But the row in Edinburgh, the lordly Whigs having con- 
sidered persiflage as their own fee-simple, was really so 
extravagant that when I think of it now the whole story 
seems wildly incredible. Wilson and I were singled out 
to bear the whole burden of sin, though there were abun- 
dance of other criminals in the concern ; and by and by, 
Wilson passing for being a very eccentric fellow, and I 
for a cool one, even he was allowed to get off compara- 
tively scot-free, while I, by far the youngest and least 
experienced of the set, and who alone had no personal 
grudges against any of Blackwood's victims, remained 
under such an accumulation of wrath and contumely as 
would have cmsbed me utterly, unless for the buoyancy 
of extreme youth. I now think with deep sadness of the 
pain my jokes and jibes inflicted on better men than 
myself, and I can say that I have omitted in my mature 
years no opportunity of trying to make reparation where I 
really had been the offender. But I was not the doer of 
half the deeds set down to my account, nor can I, in the 
face of much evidence printed and unprinted, believe that, 
after all, our Ebony (as we used to call the man and his 
book) had half so much to answer for as the more regu- 


lar artillery which the old Quarterly played incessantly, 
in those days, on the same parties. ... I believe the only 
indiriduals whom Blackwood ever really and essentially 
injured were myself and Wilson." ' 

In May, 1818, occurred the day, memorahle to Lock- 
hart, when he first met Scott, who later invited him to 
visit Abbotsford. The meeting and visi* have been de- 
scribed by Lockhart, as he alone could do it ; but he does 
not tell how speedi) he won the regard and confidence of 
the elder writer, feelings that were constantly to grow 
warmer and stronger as the years went on. Scott heartily 
welcomed Petor's Letters to his Kinsfolk the next year, 
those clever, vivid, and apparently harmless sketches of 
the Edinburgh of that day, — literary, artistic, legal, 
clerical, — which caused an outcry not now to be under- 
stood. In April, 1820, Lockhart and Sophia Scott were 
married, — a perfect marriage in its mutual love and trust. 
How willingly Sir Walter gave the daughter, so peculiarly 
dear to him, to the husband of her choice, his letters to 
his intimate correspondents show ; and how fortunate the 
union was to be for him in its results, he seems almost to 
have divined. It gave him not only the most affectionate 

and devoted of sons, — such love was already his, but 

also the most complete comprehension and sympathy in 
his home circle. And all the rare literary gifts which he 
so early discerned and so heartily admired in his young 
friend, informed by delicate insight, loving knowledge, 
and a keen intelligence, were to be employed to make him 
known to the world, so that the great author should be 
loved even above his works. 

In the next few years, spent at Edinburgh and at 

Chiefswood, years that Lockhart was to remember as the 

happiest of his life, he did much literary work, beside 

the occasional articles for Blackwood. Valerius was pub- 

1 Lug'i JJft o/LocMart, toL 1. pp. 12S-130. 


lislied in 1821, — the »tojy of a vUit'"- from Britain to 
Kome in tbe time of the persecution of the Christiana 
under Trajan. It is admirably well written, and reads 
exactly like what it professes to be, — a translation from 
the Latin. "I am quite delighted with the reality of your 
Romans," wrote Scott to the author. But the very cor- 
rectness of the studies makes them seem remote and cold 
to the ordinary reader.' A little later, appeared by far 
the best of Lockhart's novels, Some Passages in the Life 
of Mr. Adam Blair, Minister of the Gospel at Cross 
Meikle. A story of the temptation and fall of a good 
man, which his father told one day after dinner, sug- 
gested this tale, which is written with force and feeling, 
a passion that is still glowing, and a pathos which can 
still move, while there are both strength and delicacy of 
touch in the character-drawing. Reginald Dalton was pub- 
lished in 1823, and was at the time a decided success ; 
but these somewhat exaggerated sketches of Oxford life 
are now chiefly interesting for the glimpses of personal 
experience to be found in the eai>ly chapters. Matthew 
Wald followed in 1824, and was the last novel written 
by Lockhart. Scott characterized it succinctly as " full 
of power, but disagreeable, and ends vilely ill," a kind of 
tale which had not yet become popular. There is power 
in the description of an ever growing selfishness and 
unrestrained passion ending in madness ; but the story is 
ill constructed, and, despite some vigorous and graphic 
passages, has not real vitality. 

' It haa been taid of Taierius, tlutt it " containB as much knowledge of 
its period, and that IcnowL.dge aa accnrate, as would fumish oat a long 
and elaborate German treatiie on a martyT and his time ; " so that, 
whether the report that reached its anthor, that the norel had been osed in 
Harvard College as a handbook, was correct or no, it wooM :.cmx ely bare 
been a misnse of tbe book. It is certain that it was speedily applopriated 
by an American publisher, and we have a traditional knowledge of its 
having been much read and admired in certain New England circles. 


Lookhart edited a new edition of Don Quixote in 1822, 
and the next year published hia Ancient Spanish Ballads! 
most of which had been previoualy printed in BUck- 
wood's Magazine. This was the first of his books to 
bear his name, which the volume, winning wide and en- 
during success, made well known. Some competent critics 
have agreed with Scott in regarding the tianslations as 
"much finer than the originals," but, however this may 
be, there is no question whatever as to the excellence 
of the ballads in their English form. They have vigor 
and 1, iftness of movement, grace and picturesqueness, 
simplicity and spontaneity. And there are exquisite lyrics 
amongst them, witness The Wandering Knight's Song. 
Mr. Lang has made a few selections from Lockhart's 
scattered verse in Blackwood as further illustrations of 
his poetic gift, — a number of admirable stanzas (in the 
character of Wastle) in the c*tava rima of Whistleoraft 
and Beppo (1819) j the best known of his comic poems. 
Captain Paton's Lament ; and some lines from a transla- 
tion in hexameters of the twenty-fourth book of the Biad, 
that appeared as late as 1843, which must have sent more 
than one reader to the magazine, and made them echo the 
biographer's words, that "Lockhart had precisely the due 
qualifications for a translator, in sympathy, poetic feel- 
ing, and severe yet genial taste, and could have left a 
name for a popular, yet close and spirited version of the 
Iliad," had he not, after this single anonymo'oii publica- 
tion, abandoned his half-formed project As one of his 
friends wrote with great truth, " Lookhart was guilty of 
injustice to his own surpassing powers. With all his pas- 
sion for letters, with all the ambition for literary fame 
which burnt in his youthful mind, there was still his shy- 
ness, fastidiousness, reserve. No doubt he mij it have 
taken a higher place as a poet than by the Spanish 
Ballads, as a writer of fiction than by his novels. These 


aeem to have been thrown off by a sujden unoontrollable 
impulse to relieve the mind of its fulness, rather than as 
works of finished art or mature study. They were the 
flashes of a genius which would not be suppressed ; no one 
esteemed them more humbly than Lookhart, or, having 
once cast them on the world, thought less of their fame." * 
The early years of Lockhart's married life were so 
intimately connected with the life of Soott as to need no 
chronicle here. The young advocate, with many of the 
qualities essential to the making of a great lawyer, lacked 
one most needful to bis branch of the profession, facility 
as a public speaker ; his extreme shyness would account 
for this. As he said at the farewell dinner given to him 
by his friends in Edinburgh : " You know as well as I, 
that if I had ever been able to make a speech, there 
would have been no cause for our present meeting." So 
literature had become more and more his occupation, — 
it became entirely so when, in the autumn of 1826, he 
accepted the editorship of the Quarterly Beview, — a 
very responsible and distinguished post for so young a 
man, when the position of the Beview at that time, in 
politics, literature, and society, is considered. Such news- 
papers as were in a few years to become powerful in the 
world of cultivated (and respectable) readers were as 
yet, relatively speaking, in an undeveloped state. Editor 
of the Quarterly, he was to remain, till hopelessly im- 
paired health brought an end to his labors, nearly twenty- 
eigiit years later. During these yeara he contributed 
more than a hundred articles to the Beview, on the great- 
est possible variety of topics, — he could write on every- 
thing, from poetry to dry-r!it, it was said. He was that 
rare thing in our race, a bom critic ; but he did not use 

* Vnm the interesting obituary notloe In the London Timea for Decem- 
ber 9, 1864, lappoeed to have been written by Dean miman and Lady 

the work criticised as a text for a disconrae of his ovni ; 
but of deliberate choice, it would seem, kept closely to 
his author. So, many of his papers are simply admirable 
reviews written for the day, not essays for future readers. 
But, as one turns the pages of the Quarterly, how alive 
some of the most transient of these articles seem, in com- 
parison with the often excellent matter in which they are 
embedded! The clear, forcible style, the keen wit, the 
thorough workmanship, are never wanting. As would be 
expected, there is permanent interest in the biographical 
studies ; of these, one of the most interesting and impres- 
sive was fortunately republished in another form. 

As a biographer this variously accomplished man of let. 
ters was to show a gift that can almost be called unique. 
His Life of Bums, published in 1828, was written when 
the Scotland of the poet was still known to all his mature 
countrymen, though it was too early for the the rough- 
going scrutiny into every detail of his history practised 
by later writers ; but, setting that consideration aside, 
the sympathy, intelligence, good taste, fairness, and above 
all, the sanity of the work, to say nothing of its admirable 
literary quality, have given it a position by itself, which 
it is not likely to lose. This memoir is not an over-large 
book, but the Life of Theodore Hook — a reprint of a 
Quarterly Beview article written in 1843 — is one of the 
smallest of volumes, yet it is written with so fine an art, 
the presentment of its subject, if rapidly sketched, is so 
vivid, that the reader feels no sense either of crowded 
incidento or large omissions; with this biographer the 
story is of perfect proportion, whether it fills seven vol- 
umes or one, or does not extend beyond the limits of a 
brochure. Nothing Lockhart did was ever in the smallest 
degree slovenly or careless, but his admirable workman, 
ship is specially evident in the Life of Scott. Thn skill 
is masterly with which the immense mass of material has 


b«en handled, making letten, diariea, extraoto, and nar- 
latiTe one harmonioiu whole, with never an oooaaional 
roughneu to caiue the ordinary reader fully to realixe the 
■moothneu of the road he ia traversing. The abaolate 
modesty and freedom from self-conaoioiunesi of the author 

the editor, he calls himself — in telling a tale of which 

for a number of years he formed a part, is as striking as 
it is rare. He is one of the actors in a great drama ; if 
it be necessary now and then that he should come to the 
front, he does it simply and naturally —that is all. Al- 
ways and everywhere the hero is the central figure to 
whose full presentation all else is subsidiary. There is 
no need to speak of the faultlessness of the style, or of 
the deep but always manly feeling with which the more 
intimate details of the story are told ; effusiveness or sen- 
timentality was as alien to Lockhart as to Scott, and for 
these reasons no familiarj' or change in literary fashions 
can make the matchless osing pages less moving ; they 
are of the things that remain. 

In January, 1837, Lockhart wrote a letter to Wil- 
liam Laidlaw, of singular autobiographic interest. After 
thanking his friend for a letter and a present of ptarmigan, 
"both welcome as remembrances of Scotland and old 
days," he says : — 

" The account ycu give of your situation at present 
is, considering how the world wags, not unsatisfactory. 
Would it were possible to find myself placed in something 
of a similar locality, and with the means of enjoying the 
country by day and my books at night, without the neces- 
sity of dividing most of my time between the labors of the 
desk — mere drudge labors mostly — and the harassing 
turmoil of worldly society, for which I never had much, 
and nowadays have rarely indeed any relish 1 But my 
wife and children bind me to the bit, and I am well 
pleased with the fetters. Walter is now a tall and very 



hudwme boy of nearly eleven yean ; Charlotte a very 
wintome gypey of nine, — both intelligent in the extreme, 
and both, notwithatanding all pouible epoiling, ai simple, 
natoral and imwl&ih ag if they had been bred on a hilliide 
and in a family of twelve. Sophia is you - old friend, — 
fat, fair, and by and by to be forty, which I now am, and 
over, God bless the mark I but though I think I am wiser, 
at least more sober, neither richer nor more likely to be 
rich than I was in the days of Chiefswood and Kaeside, 
— after all, our best days, I still believe." 

He goes on to say that he has quite forsworn politics, 
over which he and his correspondent used sometimes to 
dispute, and has satisfied himself " that the age of Tory* 
ism is by forever." He remams " a very tranquil and in- 
different observer." 

" Perhaps, however, much of this equanimity as to pass- 
ing affairs has arisen from the call which has been made 
on me to live in the past, bestowing for so many mouths 
all the time I could command, and all the care I have 
really any heart in, upon the manuscript remains of our 
d^ar friend. I am glad that Cadell aud the few others 
who have seen what I have done with these are pleased, 
but I assure you none of them can think more lightly of 
my own part in the matter than I do myself. My sole 
object is to do him justice, or rather to let him do himself 
justice, by so contriving it that he shall be as far as pos- 
sible, from first to last, his orfn historiographer ; and I 
have therefore willingly expended the time that would 
have sufficed for writing a dozen books on what will be no 
more than the compilation of one. A stem sense of duty 
— that hind of sense of it which is combined with the feel- 
ing of his actual presence in a serene state of elevation 
above all terrestrial and temporary views — will induce 
me to touch the few darker points in his life and character 
as freely as the others which were so predominant ; and 


my chief anxiety on the appeanmce of the book will Ix, 
not to hear wliat ii laid by the world, bat what is thought 
by yoa and the few other* who can really compai« the 
repreientation ai a whole with the fasti of the caM. I 
•hall, therefore, deilie Cadell to lend yoa the Tolumet aa 
they are printed, though long before pablication, in the 
confidence that they will be kept ucred, while unpub- 
lished, to yourself and your own household ; and if you 
can give me encouragement on seeing the first and second, 
now I think nearly out of the printer's hands, it will be 
very serviceable to me in the completion of the others. I 
have waived all my own notions as to the manner of pul> 
lication, and so forth, in deference to the bookseller, who 
is still so largely our creditor, and, I am grieved to add, 
will probably continue to be so for many years to come. 

" Your letters of the closing period I wish you would 
send to me ; and of these I am sure some use, and some 
good "se, may be made, as of those addressed to myself at 
the same time, which all, however mehincholy to compare 
with those of the better day, have traces of the man. Out 
of these confused and painful scraps I think I can con- 
trive to put together a picture that will bo highly touch- 
ing of a great mind shattered, but never degraded, and 
always to the last noble, as his heart continued pure and 
warm as long as it could beat." * 

A few weeks after this letter was written Mrs. Look- 
hart was seized with an illness almost hopeless, it would 
seem, from the first. She died May 17, and this be- 
reavement overclouded the rest of her husband's life, 
though, after a few months' retirement to Milton-Lock- 
hart, he returned to his usual occupations, more devoted 
than ever to his children, their happiness and well-being 
having become the object of his life. Of his own rarely 
expressed feelings, we get a glimpse in a letter to Milman 
> AlMifotd Ifatanda, pp. 190-11)3. 


written flre yean later (October, 1842), after be had at- 
tended the funeral of the wife of a friend. Hie com- 
spondent at thia time wa* mourning the lou of a daugh- 
ter. " I lived oyer the hour when you itood by me, — but 
indeed euch an hour ii eternally preaent After that in 
every picture of life the central figure is rephioed by a 
black blot ; every train of thought terminates in the ume 
blank gulf. I we you have been allowing yourself to 
dwell too near this dreaiy region. Escape it while the wife 
of your youth is still by you ; in her presenoe no grief 
should be other than gentle." ' 

When the earlier volumes of the Life had been pub- 
lished, Lockhart wrote to Haydon : "Your approbation of 
the Life of Scott is valuable, and might well console me 
for all the abuse it has called forth, both on him and me. 
I trusted to the substantial goodness and greatness of the 
character, and thought I should only make it more effective 
in portraiture by keeping in the few specks. I despise 
with my heels the whole trickery of erecting an alabaster 
image, and calling that a Man. . . . The work is now 
done, and I leave it to its fate. I had no personal object 
to gratify except, indeed, that I wished and hoped to please 
my poor wife." From a letter to Miss Edgeworth we 
learn that Mrs. Lockhart, who had been her husband's 
secretary for years in the preparation of the Memoirs, 
only lived to see, not to read, the first volume.' It should 
be said here that the work was in every sense a labor of 
love on Lockhart's part, as all the profits of the book went 
towards the payment of Sir Walter's debt. 

One of the friends of these years was Carlyle, who had 
first met Lockhart at a Eraser dinner in 1831, and " ra- 
ther liked the man, and shall like to meet him again." 
Long afterward he was to write of him as one " whom in 

* Lang's Life o/LodcAarl, ' 
' Ibid. pp. 181, 183. 




th* diitano* I MtMmad mora than pwIukiNi h* mt knew. 
Saldomdid I stxak to him ; bnt hWly er(r witboat learn- 
ing and gaining lomtrthing." Tlkragh tlie two man did 
not mMt often, Carlfle beoame warmly attached to Lodc- 
liart, and w much of their oorreepondence as ba* been pre- 
•erred form* one of the most intereiting chapter! in Mr. 
Lang'i biography. Some of the letters show Carljla in 
liis best mood, and are peculiarly affectionate in tone. On 
one occasion be writes to Lookbart, as though sure of his 
sympathy, in a time of sorrow, and the reply, which came 
qnicUy, contains a part of a poem which was written in 
one of Lockhart's diary books in June, 1841, and oannot 
be omitted from any sketch of his life : — 

" Whra roatkfnl iallk hM IM, 
Of lorliv Islu Ihj Imti i 
fi« MBitaBt to th* dtad, 
Th* JMd oaonat dtoelT*. 

" SwMt, nwdtft flowMi of aprinf , 
How flaot TOOT faalmj djky ! 
And nuui'i britf jaar oan briac 
No meouiagj Msj. 

"No •atthly boztt iftla 
Of gUdaoM oat of gloom ; 
Fond hop* and tUob rain, 
Ui(nMfal to tho tomb I 


That on lono Mlomn ihoi«, 
Bojond tko iplian of giiaf , 

Door friends wiU moot ODOO mom. 

" Boyoud tho iphon of timo, 
And lia, and fmWt oontrol, 
Sonno in ohangoliM prim* 
Of body and of Mol. 

"That onod I fain wonld kaep, 
That hopo 1 11 not tonfo ; 
Etonal b* ths dMp, 
UnliM to vakon ao."' 

* "AtewliniBMnttoUmbjnbioadwhom ho lanlj law, who b iol- 



bo^tten while hu old friendi «.n yet Imng. lUd thU 

I««.rTed, to the gain of n»d,t,, but »m« miwpprehen. 
^ «g»dmg h.m might not h.v, hi«len«l into" nven- 
tion..' When th. LooUurti left Scotland, Sir WiJter 
wrote with much feeling to hit good friend, Mr.. Hughem 
-onto b«=om. .„d to «n.»in their good friend J„U, 
regarding the painfolne., of the wpamtion, uddini- "I 
wi.h to bespeak your affection for Lockhart. Wh«,' you 
aome to know him you will not want to be «lieited. for I 
know you wUl lore and nnderetand him, but he U not 

Te^t rr t ^ ''PP'~»'«J' " h* io weU de^rve., 
•t firet , he .hnnk. at a flr.t touch, but take a good hard 
hammer (jt need not be a riedge one), bred, the riiell. 
jnd the kernel will repay yon. Under a cold exterior 
Lockhart conceal, the warmeet affection.. «id where he 
once profesM. regard he nerer change.." ' Long afte^ 
-mrd., the .on-in-law of Lockhart wa. to .peak of the 

T.mpl. Bar for J™, ,895 («J.T. T^i) ZX^ ^ "" 

rf tl>. ™,ly d.y. of M«» Jd rfTi,rC?. *^"* " *""**■ • ''•«^P«1»- 


" depth and tenderness of feeling which he so often hid 
under an almost fierce reserve." This reserve, largely the 
result of constitutional shyness, was intensified by the 
sharp sorrows of his later life. In truth, as Mr. Leslie 
Stephen has said : " Lockhart was one of the men who 
ere predestined to b« generally misunderstood. He was 
an intellectual aristocrat, fastidious and over-sensitive, 
with very fine perceptions, but endowed with rather too 
hearty a scorn of fools as well as of folly. . . . The 
shyness due to a sensitive nature, was mistaken, as is so 
often the case, for supercilious pride, and the unwillingness 
to wear bis heart on his sleeve, for coldness and want 
of sympathy. Such men have to b« content with scanty 
appreciation from the outside." ' Fortunately, there were 
those, not a few, who did not remain outside, and when 
any of these have written of their friend, there is a singu- 
lar agreement in their testimony. In every-day matters, 
in the performance of his editorial or social duties, he was 
unfailingly prompt, exact, and courteous. Never a rich 
man, nor ever extravagant in his personal expenditures, 
he was a most generous giver, especially to unfortunate 
members of his own craft. Inclined to be somewhat silent 
in large companies, among his friends he was a brilliant 
talker, though always a ready and willing listener. He 
asserted a power over society, Mr. Gleig has noted, " which 
is not generally conceded to men having only their per- 
sonal merits to rely upon. He was never the lion of a 
season, or of two seasons, or of more. He kept his place 
to the last." Being a gentleman and a man of sense, ha 
neither over-valued nor under-valued the attractions of 
the great world. Regarding one of his personal attri- 
butes, all who saw him were of the same mind ; his quite 
exceptional and very striking beauty of face and distinc- 
tion of bearing never failed to impress those brought into 
> Studiea <>f a BiognqiheF, voL ii p. 1. 


contact with him ever so Blightly, ■•. n in the •?,' lay, 
when broken health and much sor >.w nad made ■■ m an 
old man long before his time. A pr„..,d ,asu, ; e was 
absolutely without vanity, and had litue w.;:5..e -or it in 
others ; undoubtedly, some measure of this quality would 
have made him a happier man, and one more ambitious 
of hterary success. Ahnost from his boyhood he could 
greatly admire great work even while it was yet not only 
oavjare to the general, but under the condemnation of 
tie critical arbiters of the day. It was said of him, that 
as a cntio, "high over every other consideration predom- 
mated the love of letters. If any work of genius api,eared, 
Irojan or Tyrian, it was one to him — his kindred spirit 
was kindled at once, his admiration and sympathy threw 
o£E all trammel. He would resist rebuke, remonstrance, 
to do justice t» the works of political antagonists — that 
impartial homage was at once freely, boldly, lavishly 

"The love of chUdren," wrote Mr. Christie, "was 
stronger in Lockhart than I have ever known it in any 
other man. I never saw so happy a father as he was with 
his first-born child in his arms. His ilrst sorrow was the 
breaking of the health of this child." There is no need 
here to teU the pathetic story of that brief life j but the 
same devoted love which had watched over it, was given 
m full measure to the chUdren who remained. Of the 
daughter, Mr. Gleig writes: "She was the brightest, 
memest, uid most affectionate of creatures ; and her mar-,m 1847,to Mr. James Hope, met her father's entire 
approval. He was satisfied that in giving her to Mr. 
Hope, he entrusted his chief earthly treasure to a tender 

^i!":.. .""™' '" *'^' "Action, to overshadow the 
thought that he must himself henceforth be to her an 
object of secondary interest only. She never voluntarily 
caused him one moment's pain. Nevertheless, it must not 


be concealed that the Becession of Mr. and Mrs. Hope- 
Soott to tbe Boman Catholic faith greatly distressed 
Lookhart, although he did full justice to the conscientious 
motives by which they were actuated." ' His attitude is 
best shown in the letter written to Mr. Hope at this time, 
in which he says : " I had clung to the hope that you 
would not finally quit the Church of England, but am not 
so presumptuous as to say a word more on that step as 
respects yourself, who have not certainly assumed so heavy 
a responsibility without much study and reflection. As 
concerns others, I am thoroughly aware that they may 
count upon any mitigation which the purest intentions and 
the most generous and tender feelings on your part can 
bring. And I trust that this, the only part of your con- 
duct that has ever given me pain, need not now, or ever, 
disturb the confidence in which it has been of late a prin- 
cipal consolation for me to live with my son-in-law." ' 

Lockhart's letters show how well ^.'leased he was with 
his daughter's marriage, though it left him alone in his 
home. His diary says of 1847 : " A year to me of very 
indifferent health and great anxieties. Charlotte's mar- 
riage the only good thing." The beginning of the year 
had been saddened by the death of his brother-in-law. Sir 
Walter Scott ; and the extravagance and waywardness of 
his son, now the laird of Abbotsford, had already greatly 
distressed the father and were to inflict more tortnring 
anxiety and keener suffering as time went on. Walter 
Lockhart, in his happy, healthy boyhood, did not show 
the intellectual precocity of his elder brother ; but he was 
a handsome, intelligent, and winning lad, with no fore- 
shadowing of the recklessness of his later years. Mr. 
Lang, who can speak from knowledge, says : " Could all 
be known and told, it is not too much to say that Lock- 

* Quarterly Review, Tol. oxri. p. 475. 

> Ornab;'! ilfemoiri of J. R. fi)X-Scott, vol. u p. 138. 

hait'i fortitude during these last years, so black with 
affliction, bodily and mental, was not less admirable than 
that of Sir Walter Scott himself. Thus, the trials from 
which we are tempted to avert our eyes, really brought out 
the noblest maoly qualities of cheerful endurance, of gen- 
tle consideration for all, who, being sorry for his sorrow, 
must be prevented from knowing how deep and incurable 
were his wounds." And it should be said that in thesa 
years Lockhart had to suffer that sharpest of griefs which 
happily Sir Walter never knew. 

Outwardly, Lookhart's life went on much as usual, 
save that constantly failing health made editorial labors 
more fatiguing, and social relaxations less and less fre- 
quent. But in his letters there is little change ; nothing 
could overcome " a kind of intellectual high spirits when 
his pen was in his hand." His ill health is but slightly 
dwelt upon, and only to his daughter is the ever present 
anxiety revealed. At last came a ray of hope to the 
father's heart, a reconciliation, and then Walter's sudden 
death. Sorely tried as it had been, the father's love had 
never weakened ; and after those inexpressibly sad days at 
Versailles, recorded with such self-restraint in his letters 
to his daughter, his health declined rapidly. On July 5, 
1853, he notes that his doctors agree that he must not 
attempt the next Review, and a few days later, he writes, 
" I suppose my last number of the Quarterly Beview." 
He had never ceased to be an occasional contributor to 
Blackwood ; the pages in memory of its founder, which ap- 
peared in October, 1834, were from his pen, and in those 
days he still took pleasure in sometimes "making a 
Noctes." The annalist of the Blackwoods has given 
the last note to the publisher, written very near the end : 

" Dear B., — If you think the enclosed worth a page, 
any time, they are at the service of Maga, from her very 
old servant, now released from all service, J. G. L," 


That service had lasted for more than the length of a 

Dean Boyle, in his interesting notes on Lockhart in his 
later life, recalls his remark : " If I had t"^ write my Life 
of Scott over again, now, I should say more about his 
religious opinions. Some people may think passages in 
his novels conventional and commonplace, but he hated 
cant, and every word he said came from his heart." Of 
Lockhart's own religious opinions, Mr. Gleig writes : " A 
clergyman, with whom he had lived in constant intimacy 
froii: bis Oxford days [probably the writer himself], was 
in the frequent habit, between 1851 and 1853, of calling 
upon Lockhart in Sussex Place, and taking short walks 
with him, especially in the afternoons of Sunday. With 
whatever topic their colloquy might begin, it invariably 
fell off, so to speak, of its own accord, into discussions 
upon the character and teachings of thu Saviour ; upon 
the influence exercised by both over the opinions and 
habits of mankind ; upon the light thrown by them on 
man's future state and present destiny; and the points 
both of similitude and its opposite between the philoso- 
phy of Greece in its beet days and the religion of Christ. 
Lockhart was never 10 charming as in these discussions. 
It was evident that che subject filled his whole mind, for 
the views which he enunciated were large, and broad, and 
most reverential — free at once from the bigoted dogma- 
tism which passes current in certain ciinsles for religion 
* . . and from the loose, unmeaning jargon which is too 
often accepted as rational Christianity." ' 

Lockhart spent the autumn and winter of 1858-54 in 
Kome, seeking too late for sucL. amendment as rest and 
change might give. He was too ill to take much pleasure 
in his sojourn there, but his bodily feebleness did not 
dull his mental vigor, and it is characteristic that he at 

^ Quarterly Beviem, Tol. oxri p. 475. 


once began to read Dante with Dr. Lucentini. He knew 
the language well, but wished to master the difficulties of 
the great poet, and so turned to the most accomplished 
of helpers, who naturally found Lockhart a brilliant and 
acute pupil, the mention of whom ever after roused the 
teacher to enthusiasm. No one, he declared, had ever put 
him so on his mettle. The invalid wrote long letters, 
descriptive of his Koman life, to his daughter, which show 
that he exerted himself much beyond the little strength 
that remained to him, and in the spring he gladly turned 
his face homeward. His resignation of his editorship was 
now made absolute, and, with greatly diminished income 
(his expenses in consequence of his son's follies had been 
heavy), he prepared to leave the house which had been so 
long his, and seek some new abiding-place. But his re- 
lease was at hand. In August, he went to Milton-Lock- 
hart, to the kind care of his brother's household, always 
writing as cheerfully as might be of himself to his daugh- 
ter. " The weather is delicious," he says in one of the 
last letters, " warm, very warm, but a gentle breeze keep- 
ing the leaves in motion all about, and the sun sheathed, 
as Wordsworth hath it, with a soft gray layer of cloud. I 
am glad to fancy you all enjoying yourselves (I include 
Bwect M. M.) in this heavenly summer season. If people 
know beforehand what it is to lose health, and all that 
can't survive health, they would in youth be what it is 
easy to preach; do you try? I fancy it costs none of 
you very much effort either to be good or happy." In 
October he went to Abbots'iord, and it was at once seen 
that he was a dying man. He had gone one day in 
"most heavenly weather," from Milton - Lockhart to 
Douglas, where he had spent, in the old time, a memora- 
ble summer day with the stricken Scott, of which he has 
left us the record ; and he now desired to be driven about 
to take leave of the places on Tweedside, which then had 




been a part of hia life. Hia little granddaughter wan T«ry 
dear to bim in these last days. It is still remembered, 
how, ai he lay ill, be loved to hear her running about the 
house. " It is life to me," he said. He died November 
26, 1854, and was buried, as he had desired, in Diy- 
burgh Abbey, " at the feet of Sir Walter Soott." 


LOHDOH, Deoemlm 30, 1836. 
Ilf obedience to the instruotious of Sir Walter Scott's 
last will, I had made some progress in a narrative of his 
personal history, before there was discovered, in an old 
cabinet at Abbotsford, an autobiographical fragment, 
composed by him in 1808 —shortly after the pubUcation 
of his Marmion. 

This fortunate accident rendered it necessary that I 
should altogether remodel the work which I had com- 
menced. The first chapter of the following Memoirs 
consists of the Ashestiel fragment; which gives a clear 
outline of his early bfe down to the period of his call to 
the Bar — July, 1792. All the notas appended to this 
chapter are also by himself. They are in a handwriting 
very different from the text, and seem, from various ci^ 
cumstances, to have been added in 1826. 

It appeared to me, however, that the author's modesty 
had prevented him from telling the stoiy of his youth 
with that fulness of detail which would now satisfy the 
public. I have therefore recast my own collections as 
to the period in question, and presented the substance of 
them, in five succeeding chapters, as Ulustrations ot his 
too brief autobiography. This procedure has been at- 
tended with many obvious disadvantages; but I greatly 
preferred it to printmg the precious fragment in an Ap- 
I foresee that some readers may be apt to aooose me of 


joxviii PREFACE 

trencliiog upon delioaoy in eertaiu detail* of the lizth and 
•eventh chapters in tiiis volume. Though the oiroum- 
stanoes there treated of had no trivial influence on Sir 
Walter Scott'g history and character, I should have been 
inclined, for many reasons, to omit them ; but the choice 
was, in fact, not left to me, — for they had been men- 
tioned, and misrepresented, in various preceding sketches 
of the Life which I had undertaken to illustrate. Such 
being the case, I considered it as my duty to tell the story 
truly and intelligibly ; but I trust I have avoided unneces- 
sary disclosures ; and, after all, there was nothing to dis- 
close that could have attached blame to any of the parties 

For the copious materials which the friends of Sir 
Walter have placed at my disposal I feel just gratitude. 
Several of them are named in the course of the present 
volume ; but I must take this opportunity of expressing 
my sense of the deep obligations under which I have been 
laid by the frank communications, in particular, of Wil- 
liam Clerk, Esq., of Eldin,— John Irving, Esq., W. S., 

— Sir Adam Ferguson,— James Skene, Esq., of Kubi- 
slaw, — Patrick Murray, Esq., of Simprim,— J. B. S. 
Morritt, Esq., of Bokeby, — William Wordsworth, Esq., 
— Bobert Southey, Esq., Poet Laureate, — Samuel Rogers, 
Esq., — William Stewart Rose, Esq., — Sir Alexander 
Wood, — the Right Hon. the Loi-d Chief Commissioner 
Adam,— the Right Hon. Sir William Bae, Bart., — the 
late Right Hon. Sir William Knighton, Bart., — the 
Right Hon. J. W. Croker, — Lord Jeffrey, — Sir Henry 
Halford, Bart., G. C. H., — the late Major-General Sir 
John Malcolm, G. C. B., — Sir Francis Chantrey, B. A., 

— Sir David WiUde, B. A., — Thomas Thomson, Esq., 
P. C. S., — Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Esq., — William 
Scott, of Raebum, Esq., — John Scott, of Gala, Esq.,- 
Alexander Pringle, of Whytbank, Esq., M. P., — John 


Swinton. of Inverleith-Place, E.q.,_JoLx, Riohard.o„, 
J!.»q., of Fludyer Street, -John Murray, Em., of Albe- 
marie Street, - Robert Bruce, E.q., Sheriff of ArRvle - 
^w'^,J*'«".T"' ^=9- M- »- -G- P- R- Jamei, Em., 
T^^^""^^"' E,q.,_ Robert Cadell, Esq.,- 
John EU.ot Shortreed, E«,., -Allan Cunningham, E«,., 
— Claud RusseU, Esq., — Jame. Clarkson, Esq., of Mel- 
»se, - the late James Ballantyne, Esq., -Joseph Train, 
Esq.,- Adolphus Ross, Esq., M. D.,- William Allan, 
I " n T' -J^''"'" Dumergue, Esq., - Stephen Nich- 
d«,n Barber, E^.,_Jame, Slade, Esq.,-Mr,. Joanna 
M r;r, ^'■'-;^*'"8* Elli«,-Mr,. Thomas Soott,- 
Mrs. Charles Carpenter, -Miss RusseU of Ashestiel,- 
Mrs Sarah Nicholson, -Mrs. Duncan, Mertoun-Manse, 
-the Right Hon. the Lady Polwarth, and her sons, 
Hen,7, Master of Polwarth, the Hon. and Rev. William 
and the Hon. Francis Scott. 

I beg leave to acknowledge with equal thankfulness the 
courtesy of the Rev. Dr. Harwood, Thomas White, Esq., 
Mrs. Thomson, and the Rev. Richard Gamett, aU of Lich- 
field, and the Rev. Thomas Henry Whit.^ of Glasgow in 
forwarfmg to me Sir Walter Scott's early letter, to Mis, 
Seward : that of the Lord Seaford, in entrusting me with 
ttose addressed to his Ute cousin, George Ellis, Esq. : and 
the kmd readiness with which whatever papers in their 
possession could be serviceable to my undertaking were 
supphed by tie Duke and Duchess of Bucdeuch, Zii the 
Lord Montagu; -the Duchess-Countess of Sutherland, 
»d the Lord Francis Egerton;-the Lord Viscount 
S.dmouth,-.tie Lord Bishop of LlandafP, - the Right 
♦I." H t" w*'- Bart.,-theLady Louisa Stufrt, 
- the Hon. Mrs. Warrender, and the Hon. Catharine Ar- 
n!'r { S^Y'.-M™ Edge,orth,_Mrs. M»cle«. 
aephane,of, - Mr,. Hughes, of Uffington.- 
Mrs. Terry now (Richardson), - M«. Hartley, -Sir 


Oeorg* Miektiui* of Caul, Bart., — th« Ute Sir Fruois 
FrMling, Bart., — Captain Sir Hugh Pigott, R. N., — th« 
late Sir William G«U, — Sir CuUibort Sharp, — the 
Very Rev. Principal Baird, — the Hev. William Steren, 
of Rotterfam, — the late Kev .Tame> Mitohell, of Wooler, 

— Robert William Hay, Esq., lately Under Secretary of 
State for the Colonial Department, — John Borthwick, of 
CroolMtone, Esq., — John Cay, E«q., Sheriff of Linlith- 
gow,— Captain Baail Hall, R. N., — l"honiai Crofton 
Croker, Esq., — Edward Cheney, Esq., — Alexander 
Young, Esq., of Harbum, — A. J. Valpy, Esq., — Jame* 
Maidment, Esq., Advocate, —the late Donald Gregory, 
Esq., — Robert Johnston, E-<\, of Edinburgh,' — J. J. 
Masquerier, Esq., of Brighton, -Owen Reea, Esq., of 
Paternoster Row,' — WUliam MiUer, Esq., formerly of 
Albemarle Street, — David Laing, Esq., of Edinburgh, 

— and John Smith the Youngest, Esq., of Glasgow. 

> BiO'" Jolimton iM 4tli April, 1888, in Ui TSd ;Hr. 
•Mr. Bmi nOni ffom tha bona of Loufnuii ud Mitemmai 
1837, uddl<d6tli8tpt«nl>n<olloirii(,b his 67<IiTMt. ' 










' Ifl 






T,„ , , AjHMTnn,, April 28, 1808. 

THE preMnt age has ducovered a de>ire, or rather » 
"ge, for literary anecdote and private history, that raav 
be weU permitted to alarm one who has eneaeed in a 
certain degree the attention of the public. That I have 
had more than my own rimre of popularity, my cont»m. 
pomie, wUl be as ready to admit a. I am to confess 
that Its measure has exceeded not only my hopes, but 
my ments, and even wishes. I may be therefore^rmit- 
ted, wittout an extraordinary degree of vanity, to take 
«» precaution of recording a few leading oircimstances 
(^y do not ment tie name of event») of a ve^r quiet 

s^r ♦'^''-^'•."''"■•^ "y «*«~7 "P-t'tion 
survive my temporal existence, the public may know 
from good authority aU that they are entitled to know of 
an mdividua^ who has contributed to their amusement. 

iirom the lives of some poets a most important moral 
kMon may doubtless be derived, and few «,rmons can 
be^ with so much proHt as the Memoirs of Bums, 
of Chatterton, or of Savage. Were I comioious of anyl 


thing peculiar in my own moral cliaracter which coold 
render such development necessary or useful, I would 
as readily consent to it as I would bequeath my body to 
dissection, if the operation could tend to point out the 
nature and the means of curing any peculiar malady. 
But as my habits of thinking and acting, as well as my 
rank in society, were fixed long before I had attained, or 
even pretended to, any poetical reputation,' and as it 
produced, when acquired, no remarkable change upon 
either, it is hardly to be expected that much informa- 
tion can be derived from minutely investigating frailties, 
follies, or vices, not very different in number or degree 
from those of other men in my situation. As I have not 
been blessed with the talents of Bums or Chatterton, I 
have been happily exempted from the influence of their 
violent passions, exasperated by the struggle of feelings 
which rose up against the unjust decrees of fortune. Yet, 
although I cannot tell of difficulties vanquished, and dis- 
tance of rank annihilated by the strength of genius, those 
who shall hereafter read this little Memoir may' find in 
it some hints to be improved, for the regulation of their 
own minds, or the training those of others. 

Every Scottishman has a pedigree. It is a national 
prerogative as unalienable as his pride and his poverty. 
My birth was neither distinguished nor sordid. Accord- 
ing to the prejudices of my country, it was esteemed 

* I do nnt mean to lay that m7 saeoMS in Ut«ratare liaa not led me to 
mix familiarly in aociety mncb aljOTe my birtli and original pretensione, 
■inoe I baye been readily received in tbe fint eirdei in Britain. But then 
ia a certain intnitiTe knowledge of the world, to which moat well^dn- 
oated Scotchmen are early trained, that preventa them from being mncb 
dacded by this flpeoiea of elevation. A man wiio to good nature adda 
the general rudiments of good breeding, provided be rest contented with 
a eimple and unaffected manner of behaving and expressing himself, will 
never be ridtonlona in tbe best society, and so far as his talenta and in- 
formation permit, may be an agreeable part of the company. I have 
therefore never felt mncb elevated, nor did 1 experience any violent change 
in situation, by the passport which my poetical character afforded me into 
higher company than my birth wamntsd. — ( 1826.) 


gentle, as I was connected, though remotely, with ancient 
&^ both by „y father's and mother's sWe My 
rf * J f*f """^^ ™» Walter Scott, well kno^"^ 
Teviotdale by the surname of Beardie. He waT^the 
second son of Walter Scott, first Laird of RalL™ „^ 

Talterl^r' ^''^««™Sco^and1h??an^;:t? 
Walter Scott comi...nlycaUed in tadition i„« Watt 
of Harden. I am therefore lineally descended fmm fW 
«.cient chieftain, whose name I have^e ^"L t 
many a ditty, and from his fair damera.o Rowef of 
Yarrow -no bad genealogy for a lird.r mbLl 
Beards my great-grandfather aforesaid, derived his ™i 

«hed by razor or scissors, in token of his regret for t^e 
banished dynas^r of Stuart. It would havrbeen JeU 

.^i^ir^ ^^- "^^^ "^^ B"t he took arms, Ind 
mtr^ed m their cause, until he lost all he had in the 
worM, and, as I have heard, run a narrow riskof Vt 
hmged, had It not been for the interference of Anne^ 
Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth. Beardie's eMe; 

™ t-nT"",!!" ^v"" "' ^'^'"™' -y B^at-grand-unde 
was killed about the age of twenty^ in a duel with 
^ngle of Crichton, grandfather of the present Sllrk 

M,°* f^"- '''"'^ ^-Sht with sworf , as :i 
the fashion of the time, in a field near Selkirk caM 

fled from Scotland to Spain, and was long a captive fd 
dave m Barbaxy. Beardie became, of cotse^„™r^/ 
Saeburn as the old Scottish phrase called him-Z 

wKZ^'L^'*"'* "2'''''' '"«•« 0' *he P«Ln 
Walter Scott of Raebum. He also mai-aged the estates 

SStlL'ce forts r""-"^. ' ""PP™* ''« "^ "»" 
ttaT^rth? f 1^ v". t'**'' ""«• »■"> '"hsisted upon 
Uiat and the fortune which he had by his wife a IW!.. 
C^ipbeU of Silvereraigs, in the weft,^^*!.''^ 
connection my father u«,d to ca« co^in, a. ttey » V. 





with the Campbells of Blythswood. Beardie was a num 
of some learning, and a friend of Dr. Fitcaim, to whom 
his politics probably made him acceptable. They had a 
Tory or Jacobite club in Edinburgh, in which the con- 
versation is said to have been maintained in Latin. Old 
Beardie died in a house, still standing, at the northeast 
entrance to the Churchyard of Kelso, about . . . [No- 
vember 8, 1729.] 

He left three sons. The eldest, Walter, had a family, 
of which any that noiw remain have been long settled in 
America: — the male heirs are long since extinct. The 
third was William, father of James Scott, well known in 
India as one of the original settlers of Prince of Wales 
Island: — he had, besides, a numerous family both of 
sons and daughters, and died at Lasswade, in Mid- 
Lothian, about . . . 

The second, Robert Scott, was my grandfather. He 
was originally bred to the sea; but, being shipwrecked 
near Dundee in his trial voyage, he took such a sincere 
dislike to that element, that he could not be persuaded to 
a second attempt. This occasioned a quarrel between 
him and his father, who left him to shift for himself. 
Robert was one of those active spirits to whom this was 
no misfortune. He turned Whig upon the spot, and 
fairly abjured his father's politics and his learned pov- 
erty. His chief and relative, Mr. Scott of Harden, gave 
him a lease of the farm of Sandy-Knowe, comprehending 
the rocks in ihe centre of which Smailholm or Sandy- 
Knowe Tower is situated. He took for his shepherd 
an old man called Hogg, who willingly lent him, out of 
respect to his family, his whole savings, about JE80, to 
stock the new farm. With this sum, which it seems was 
at the time sufficient for the purpose, the master and 
servant set off to purchase a stock of sheep at Whit- 
8un-Try»te, a fair held on a hill near Wooler in North- 
umberland. The old shepherd went carefully from drove 
to drove, till he found a hinel likely to answer their pur- 


pose, and then returned to tell his master to come np and 
oondude the bargain. But what was his surprise to see 
him galloping a mettled hunter about the racecourse, 
and to find he had expended the whole stock in this ex- 
traordinary purchase!— Moses's bargain of green spec- 
tacles did not strike more dismay mto the Vicar of Wake- 
field's family than my grandfather's rashness into the 
poor old shepherd. The thing, however, was irretriev- 
able, and they returned without the sheep. In the course 
of a few days, however, my grandfather, who was one of 
the best horsemen of his time, attended John Scott of 
Harden's hounds on this same horse, and displayed him 
to such advantage that he soW him for double the original 
price. The farm was now stocked in earnest; and the 
rest of my grandfather's career was that of successful 
industry. He was one of the first who were active in 
the cattle trade, afterwards carried to such extent be- 
tween the Highlands of Scotland and the leading counties 
in England, and by his droving transactions acquired a 
considerable sum of money. He was a man of middle 
stature, extremely active, quick, keen, and fiery in his 
temper, stubbornly honest, and so distinguished for his 
skill in country matters that he was the general referee 
in all points of dispute which occurred in the neighbor- 
hood. His birth being admitted as gentle gave him 
access to the best society in the county, and his dexterity 
in country sports, particularly hunting, made him an 
acceptable companion in the field as well as at the table.' 
Robert Scott of Sandy-Knowe married, in 1728, Bar- 
bara Haliburton, daughter of Thomas Haliburton of 
Newmains, an ancient and respectable family in Ber- 
wickshire. Among other patrimonial possessions, they 
enjoyed the part of Dryburgh, now the property of the 
Earl of Buchan, comprehending the ruins of the Abbey. 

• Th« pp«»iit Lord H>ddiiigtoii, ud other gmtlemen coOTorwnt -irith 
U.« loulh oomitry, remamber m; grxidfallier wdl. B» wu . fine, Uert 
fiffore, and wan a jookey cap oTer his gnj hair. — (1820.) 





My gnmd-Qncle, Bobert Haliburton, having no male 
heirs, this estate, as well as the representation of the 
family, would have devolved upon my father, and indeed 
old Newmains had settled it upon him; but this was 
prevented by the misfortunes of my grand-uncle, a weak, 
silly man, who engaged in trade, for which he had nei- 
ther stock nor talents, and became bankrupt. The an- 
cient patrimony was sold for a trifle (about X8000), and 
my father, who might have purchased it with ease, was 
dissuaded by my grandfather, who at that time believed 
a more advantageous purchase might have been made of 
some lands which Baebum thought of selling. And thus 
we have nothing left of Dryburgh, although my father's 
maternal inheritance, but the right of stretching our 
bones where mine may perhaps be laid era any eye but 
my own glances over these pages. 

Walter Scott, my father, was bom in 1729, and edu- 
cated to the profession of a Writer to the Signet. He 
was the eldest of a large family, several of whom I shall 
have occasion to mention with a tribute of sincere grati- 
tude. My father was a singular instance of a man rising 
to eminence in a profession for which nature had in some 
degree unfitted him. He had indeed a turn for labor, 
and a pleasure in analyzing the abstruse feudal doctrines 
connected with conveyancing, which would probably 
have rendered him unrivalled in the line of a specif 
pleader, had there been such a profession in Scotland; 
but in the actual busicess of the profession which he 
embraced, in that sharp and intuitive perception which 
is necessary in driving bargains for himself and others, 
in availing himself of the wants, necessities, caprices, . 
and follies of some, and guarding against the knavery 
and malice of others. Uncle Toby himself could not have 
conducted himself with more simplicity than my father. 
Most attorneys have been suspected, more or less justly, 
of making their own fortune at the expense of their 
clients — my father's fate was to vindicate his calling 


from the stain in one instance, for in many oases his cli- 
ents contrived to ease him of considerable sums. Many 
worshipful and be<knight«d names occur to my memory, 
who did him the honor to run in his debt to the amount 
of thousands, and to pay him with a lawsuit, or a com- 
mission of bankruptcy, as the case happened. But they 
are gone to a different accounting, and it would be un- 
generous to visit their disgrace upon their descendants. 
My father was wont aUo to give openings, to those who 
were pleased to take them, to pick a quarrel with him. 
He had a zeal for his clients which was almost ludicrous: 
far from coldly discharging the duties of his employment 
towards them, he thought for them, felt for their honor 
as for his own, and rather risked disobliging them than 
neglecting anything to which he conceived their duty 
bound them. If there was an old mother or aunt to be 
maintained, he was, I am afraid, too apt to administer 
to their necessities from what the yoimg heir had destined 
exclusively to his pleasures. This ready discharge of 
obligations which the Civilians tell us are only natural 
and not legal, did not, I fear, recommend him to his em- 
ployers. Yet his practice was, at one period of his life, 
very extensive. He understood his business theoreti- 
cally, and was early introduced to it by a partnership 
with George Chalmers, Writer to the Signet, under 
whom he had served his apprenticeship. 

His person and face were uncommonly handsome, with 
an expression of sweetness of temper, which was not fal- 
lacious; his manners were rather formal, but full of gen- 
ume kindness, especially when exercising the duties of 
hospitality. His general habits were not only temperate, 
but severely abstemious; but upon a festival occasion, 
there were few whom a moderate glass of wine exhila- 
rated to such a lively degree. His religion, in which he 
was devoutly sincere, was Calvinism of the strictest kind, 
and his favorite study related to church history. I sus- 
pect the good old man was often engaged with Enoz and 



Spottitwoode's folios, when, immuTed in his solitoiy 
room, he was supposed to bo immersed in professional 
researches. In his political principles he was a steady 
friend to freedom, with a bias, however, to the monarchi- 
cal part of our constitution, which he considered as pecu- 
liarly exposed to danger during the later years of his life. 
He had much of anoient Scottish prejudice respeoting the 
forms of marriages, funerals, christenings, and so forth, 
and was always vexed at any neglect of etiquette upon 
such occasions. As his education bad not been upon an 
enlarged plan, it could not be expected that he should be 
an enlightened scholar, but he bad not passed through 
a busy life without observation; and his remarks upon 
times and manners often exhibited strong traits of prac- 
tical though untaught philosophy. Let me conclude this 
sketch, which I am unconscious of having overcharged, 
with a few lines written by the late Mrs. Cockbumi 
upon the subject. They made one among a set of poeti- 
cal characters which were given as toasts among a few 
friends; and we must hold them to contain a inking 
likeness, since the original was recognized so soon as 
they were read aloud : — 

* To a thing tliat *a nneonunon — 
A youth of diicretioD, 
Who, though vastly handwme, 
Duspiiea flirtfttioti ; 
To the friend in e£Biotion, 
The lieart of affection, 
Who nuy hew the leit tnunp 
Witliont dnod of detection." 

In [April, 1758] my father married Anne Rutherford, 
eldest daughter of Dr. John Rutherford, professor of 
medicine in the University of Edinburgh. He was one 
of those pupils of Boerhaave, to whom the school of medi- 
cine in our northern metropolis owes its rise, and a man 

> Mis. Cockbnn (bom Miss Rntherfoid of Fairnelie) wis the aothonas 
of the beantifal song — 

" I hen Men the -.-"'-f 
Of foctnae beiiiUiag." — (1826.) 


diitingnished for profeMional talent, for Uvely wit, and 
for literary acquirement.. Dr. Kutlwrford waa twice 
married. His flnt wife, of whom my mother a the sole 
.urnving child, was a daughter of Sir John Swinton of 
Swinton, a famUy which produced many distinguished 
warriors dunng the Middle Ages, and which, for an- 
taqmty and honorable alliances, may rank with any in 
Britain. My grandfather's second wife was Miss Mac 

!?'fnQ? V '"J'* ^ * '**""'' *«""y- °f *•"<»» "e now 
(1808) ahve. Dr. Daniel Sutherford, professor of botany 
m tie University of Edinburgh, and Misses Janet and 
Christian Rutherford, amiable and accomplished women. 
My father and mother had a very numerous famUy, no 
fewer, I believe, than twelve children, of whom many 
were highly promising, though only five survived ve^ 
early youth. My eldest brother (that is, the eldest whom 
1 remember to have seen) was Eobert Scott, so called 
after my uncle, of whom I shall have much to say here- 
after. He was bred in the King's service, under Admiral, 
then Captam William Dickson, and was in most of Eod- 
ney s batUes. His temper was bold and haughty, and to 
me was often checkered with what I felt to be capricious 
granny. In other respects I loved him much, for he 
had a strong turn for literature, read poetry with taste 
and judgment, and composed verses himself, which had 
gained him great applause among his messmates. Wit- 
ness the following elegy upon the supposed loss of the 
vessel, composed the night before Rodney's celebrated 
battle of April the 12th, 1782. It aUudes to the various 
amusements of his mess : 

' No more the greeee shall oaeUe oa the poop, 
No more the hegpipe throagh the orlop Mand, 
i ji_i. I, a jovial groop, 

No I 

Shall toast the girls, and push the hottle roand. 
In death's dark poad at anchor fast they stay, 

Till Heaven's loud signal shall in thonder roap ; 
Then starting np, all hands shall quick obey, 

Sheet home the topsail, and with speed onmoor." 



Robert «ung agreeably — (a virtue which wai never Men 
in me) — understood the mechanical arta, and when in 
good humor, could regale us with many a tale of bold 
adventure and narrow escsr>es. When in bad humor, 
however, he gave us a praetioal taste of what was then 
man-of-war's discipline, and kicked and cuffed without 
mercy. I have often thought how he might have distin- 
guished himself, had he continued in the navy until the 
present times, so glorious for nautical exploit. But the 
Peace of Paris [Versailles, 1788] cut off all hopes of 
promotion for those who had not great interest; and 
some disgust which his proud spirit had taken at harsh 
usage from a superior officer, combined to throw poor 
Robert into the East India Company's service, for which 
his habits were ill adapted. He made two voyages to 
the East, and died a victim to the climate in . . . 

John Scott, my second brother, is about three years 
older than me. He addicte<' himself to the military ser- 
vice, and is now brevet-major in the 78rd regiment.' 

I had an only sister, Anne Scott, who seemed to be 
from her cradle the butt for mischance to shoot arrows 
at. Her childhood was marked by perilous escapes from 
the most extraordinary aocid-nts. Among others, I re- 
member an iron-railed door leading into the area in the 
centre of George's Square being closed by the wind, 
while her fingers were betwixt the hasp and staple. Her 
hand was thus locked in, and must have been smashed to 
pieces, had not the bones of her fingers been remarkably 
slight and thin. As it was, the hand was cruelly man- 
gled. On another occasion she was nearly drowned in a 
pond, or old quarry hole, in what was then called Brown's 
Park, on the south side of the square. But the most un- 
fortunate accident, and which, though it happened while 

' He wa« thu Jtu made major of the teoond battalion, hj the kind in- 
tenesionotMr. Csaningatthe WtrOfioe — 1S09. He retired from the 
army, and kept honae with m; mother. Hia health vaa totally broken, 
and he died, yet a yoiiii£ man, on 8th May, 1810. — (182&) 


•he wu only aix yean old, proved the remote osuM of 
her death, was her cap accidentally taking fire. The 
child va« alone in the room, and before assistance could 
be obtained, her head was dreadfully scorched. After 
a lingering and dangerous illness, she recovered — but 
never to enjoy perfect health. The slightest cold occa- 
sioned swellings in her face, and other indications of a 
delicate constitution. At length, in [1801], poor Anno 
was taken ill, and died after a very short interval. Her 
temper, like that of her brothers, was peculiar, and in 
her, perhaps, it showed more odd, from the habits of in- 
dulgence which her nervous illnesses had formed. But 
she was at heart an affectionate and kind girl, neither 
void of talent nor of feeling, though living in an iueal 
world which she had framed to herself by the force of 
imagination. Anne was my junior by about a year. 

A year lower in the list was my brother Thomas Scott, 
who is still alive.' 

Last, and most unfortunate of our family, was my 
youngest brother, Daniel. With the same aversion to 
labor, or rather, I should say, the same determined indo- 
lence that marked us all, he had neither the vivacity of 
intellect which supplies the want of diligence, nor the 
pride which renders the most detested labor better than 
dependence or contempt. His career was as unfortunate 
as might be augured from such an unhappy combination; 
and after various unsucoesstol attempts to establish him- 
self in life, he died on his return from the West Indies, 
in [July, 1806]. 

Poor Tom, a mAn of inflnitfl htunor and excellent parts, pnisned fat 
■otne time my father's profeesion; but lie waa oofortniiate, from engaging 
in specolationa respecting farms and matters ont of the line of his proper 
business. Be afterwards became paymaster of the 70th regiment, and 
died in Canada. Tom married Elizabeth, a daughter of the family of 
M'Cnlloch of Ardvell, an ancient Oalwegiao stock, by whom he left a 
SOD, Walter Scott, now second lieutenant of engineers in the Eaat India 
Company's serrice, Bombay — and three daughters; Jesrie, married to 
Lieutenant-Colonel Huxley i 2. Anne ; 8. Bliia — the two laat still uunoi^ 
Jtied.— (1820.) 


HkTing pnmiMd M mocb of my finuly, 1 return to 
my own itoiy. I wu bom, m I believe, on tbe 16th 
Angiut, 1771, in s bou<e belonging to my fatber, at the 
head of the College Wynd. It wa< pulled down, with 
othen, to make room for the northern front of the new 
College. I wai an uncommonly heal% child, but had 
nearly died in oonwquence of my first nurae being ill of 
a ooniumption, a oircumitanoe which she chose to con. 
Mai, though to do so was murder to both herself and me. 
She went privately to consult Dr. Bhick, the celebrated 
profes«)r of chemistry, who put my father on his guard. 
The woman was dismissed, and I was consigned to a 
healthy peasant, who is stiU alive to boast of her laddU 
bemg what she calls a grand gentleman.^ I showed 
every sign of health and strength until I was about eigh- 
teen months old. One night, I have been often told, I 
showed great reluctance to be caught and put to bed, 
and, after being chased about the room, was apprehended, 
and consigned to my dormitory with some difficulty. It 
was the last time I was to show such personal agility. 
In the morning I was discovered to be affected with the 
fever which often accompanies the cutting of large teeth. 
It held me three days. On the fourth, when they went 
to bathe me as asnal, they discovered that I had lost the 
power of my right leg. My grandfather, an excellent 
anatomist a* well as physician, the late worthy Alexander 
"Wood, and many others of the most respectable of the 
faculty, were consulted. There appeared to be no dislo- 
cation or sprain ; blisters and other topical remedies were 
applied in vain.> When the efforto of regular physicians 
had been exhausted without the slightest success, my anx- 
ious parents, during the com of many years, eagerly 
grasped at every prospect of i^ox-e which was held out by 
the promise of empirics, or of ancient ladies or gentle- 

» She died in 1810.— (1826.) 

» [R,w«diiig m, ilIie<i,iM > rwUeil Mt, b; Dr. Crdghton b> tl» 
•rtiole, "Scott," m the EiKfdyiadia Sriteimim.] 


men who oonoeired themMlrei entitled to reoommend 
rarioni remediee, nme of which were of a natnre saffi- 
denUy lingular. But the adrioe of my grandfather, Dr. 
Rutherford, that I ahould be (ent to reeide in the conn. 
bj, to give the chance of natural exertion, excited by 
feee air and liberty, waa firrt re«)rted to; and before I 
1»T0 the recollection of the slightest event, I wa«, agree- 
ably to this friendly counsel, an inmate in the farmhouse 
of Sandy-Knowe. 

An odd incident is worth recording. It aeema my 
mother had sent a maid to take charge of me, that I 
might be no inconvenience in the family. But the dam- 
sel sent on that important mission had left her heart be. 
hind her, in the keeping of some wild fellow, it is likely, 
who had done and said more to her than he was like to 
make good. She became extremely desirous to return to 
Edinburgh, and as my mother made a point of her re- 
maining where she was, she contracted a sort of hatred 
at poor me, as the cause of her being deUined at Sandy- 
Knowe. This rose, I suppose, to a sort of delirious 
affection, for she confessed to old Alison Wilson, the 
housekeeper, that she had carried me up to the Craigs, 
meaning, under a strong temptation of the Devil, to 
out my throat with her scissors, and bury me in the moss. 
Alison instantly took possession of my person, and took 
care that her confidant should not be subject to any far- 
ther temptation so far aa I was concerned. She was dia- 
miased, of course, and I have heard became afterwards 
a lunatic. 

It ia here at Sandy-Knowe, in the residence of my 
paternal grandfather, already mentioned, that I have the 
flrat consciouanesa of existence; and I recollect distinctly 
that my situation and appearance were a little whimsical. 
Among the odd remedies recurred to to aid my lameness, 
some one had recommended that ao often as a sheep waa 
killed for the use of the family, I should be stripped, and 
swathed np in the skin, warm as it was flayed from the 


I of tlic uimal. In thU Twtu-like habOlmeiit I 
wdl lemember lying npon the floor of the little parlor in 
the farmbooM, while my grandfather, a venerable old 
man with white hair, nied eTeiy excitement to make me 
try to orawl. I alio diitinotly remember the late Sir 
George MacDongal of Makentoun, father of the preient 
Sir Henry Hay MaoDougal, joining in thia kindly at- 
tempt. He waa, Ood knows how,> a relation of oure, 
and I atill teoolleot him in his old-fashioned military 
habit (he had been colonel of the Greys), with a small 
cocked hat, deeply Uced, an embroidered scarlet waist- 
coat, and a light-colored coat, with milk-white locks tied 
in a military fashion, kneeling on the ground before me, 
and dragging his watch along the carpet to induce me to 
follow it. The benevolent old soldier and the infant 
wrapped in his sheepskin would have afforded an odd 
group to uninterested spectators. This must havL hap- 
pened about my third year, for Sir George MacDougiU 
and my grandfather both died shortly after that period. 

My grandmother continued for some years to take 
charge of the farm, assisted by my father's second bro- 
ther, Mr. Thomas Scott, who resided at Crailing, as 
factor or land steward for Mr. Scott of Danesfield, then 
proprietor of that estate.' This was during the heat of 
the Americnn war, and I remember being as anxious on 
my uncle's weekly visits (for we heard news at no other 

> H< m s nmid anmn of ny (iniidtatlin'a. ImM HicDoogid, milt 
of Walter, Um flnt Lsird of RMbom, aod moUwr of Walter ^ioott. oallad 
BMTdio, mU (nmd-aimt, I take It, to tha lata Sir Qtmte MacDoii(al. 
Thara waa alwaya graat friendaUp bctveoD na and the Hakeratonn fam- 
ily. It aiagnilarly kappeaed, tbat at tke bnrial of the Ute Sir Hear; Mao- 
l>ongal, my conain William Scott yonngflr of Raebnrn, and I mytelf , ware 
tke aeaieat blood lelationa preaeat, altboof k oar connectioD waa of ao old 
a date, and nuked aa paU-beaiera aeeocdlafly. — (182&) 

« My nnole afterwarda realded at EUiaton, and tkan took fram Bfr. 
ComeUoa Elliot the aetata of WooUew. FiaaUy ha ledred to Monklaw in 
the neighborhood of Jedbiuih, when he died, 1823, at tke adranoed age 
of ninety yeare, and in full poaiaaaion of kia faenltiea. It wee a fine thii« 
to hear him talk orar the ekaaga of the eonntry wkick ha had j 
— (1826.) 


•774 n\j iyjoiKjvrnArn'x jt 

time) to hear of the defekt of Wwhington, u if I had 
had aome deep and penonal oanie of antipathy to him. 
I know not how thia wai combined with a very itrone 
prejudioe in favor of the Stuart family, which I had 
originally imbibed from the aong( and talea of the Jaoo- 
bitet. This Utter poBtical propensity waa deeply con- 
Armed by the .tones told in my hearing of the cruelties 
•leroised in the executions at Carlisle, and in the High- 
lands, after the battle of CuUoden. One or two of our 
own distant reUtions had fallen on that occasion, and 
I remember of detesting the name of Cumberland with 
more than infant hatred. Mr. Curie, farmer at Yetbyre, 
hosband of one of my aunts, had been present at their 
execution; and it was probably from him that I first 
heard these tragic tales which made so great an impres- 
sion on me. The local information, which I conceive had 
some share in forming my future taste and pursuits, I 
derived from the old songs and tales which then formed 
the amusement of a retired country family. My grand- 
mother, in whose youth the old Border depredations were 
matter of recent tradition, used to teU me many a tale 
of Watt of Harden, Wight WUlie of Aihwood, Jamie 
Telfer of the fair Dodhead, and other heroes — merry 
men all, of the persuasion and calling of Robin Hood 
and Little John. A more recent hero, but not of lesa 
note, was the celebrated Did of ZUtledmn, whom she 
well remembered, as he had married her mother's sister. 
Of this extraordinary person I learned many a story, 
grave and gay, comic and warlike. Two or three old 
books which lay in tie window seat were explored for mv 
amusement in the tedion. winter days. Automathw 
and Ransay s Tea-Table Miscellany were my favoril*., 
^ugh at a later period an odd volume of Josephus'a 
Wars of the Jews divided my partiality. 

My kind and affectionate aunt, Miss Janet Scott:, 
whose memory will ever be dear to me, used t» read these 
works to me with admirable patience, untU I conU repeat 






long puBsges by heart. The ballad of Hardyknute I 
wa8 early master of, to the great annoyance of almost our 
only visitor, the worthy clergyman of the parish. Dr. 
Dnncan, who had not patience to have a sober chat inter- 
rupted by my shoating forth this ditty. Methinks I now 
see his tall, thin, emaciated figure, his legs cased in 
clasped gambadoes, and his face of a length that wonld 
have rivalled the Knight of La Mancha's, and hear him 
exclaiming, "One may as well speak in the mouth of a 
cannon as where that child is." With this little acidity, 
which was natural to him, he was a most excellent and 
benevolent man, a gentleman in every feeling, and alto- 
gether different from those of his order who cringe at the 
tables of the gentry, or domineer and riot at those of the 
yeomanry. In his youth he had been chaplain in the 
family of liord Marchmont — had seen Pope — and could 
talk familiarly of many characters who had survived the 
Augustan age of Queen Anne. Though valetudinary, 
he lived to be nearly ninety, and to welcome to Scotland 
his son. Colonel William Duncan, who, with the highest 
character for military and civil merit, had made a con- 
siderable fortune in Lidia. In [1795], a few days before 
his death, I paid him a visit, to inquire after his health. 
I found him emaciated to the last degree, wrapped in 
a tartan night-gown, and employed widi all the activity 
of health and youth in correcting a history of the Revo- 
lution, which he intended should be given to the public 
when he was no more. He read me several passages 
with a voice natuiaUy strong, and which the feelings of 
an author then raised above the depression of age and 
declining health. I begged him to spare this fatigue, 
which could not but injure his health. His answer was 
remarkable. "I know," he said, "that I cannot survive 
a fortnight — and what signifies an exertion that can at 
worst only accelerate my death a few days?" I mar- 
velled at the composure of this reply, for his appearanoe 
sufficiently vouched the truth of his prophecy, and rode 


home to my uncle's (then my abode), moaing what there 
could be in the spirit of authorship that could inspire its 
TOtanes with the courage of martyrs. He died within 
less than the period ha assigned — with which event I 
dose my digression. 

I was m my fourth year when my father was advised 
that the Bath waters might be of some advantage to my 
lameness. My aSEectionate aunt, although such a journey 
promised to a person of her retired habits anything but 
pleasure or amusement, undertook as readUy to acoom- 
pany me to the wells of Bhidud as if she had expected aU 
a.e delight th.* ever the prospect of a watering-phice 
held out to Its most impatient visi'anta. My health was 
by this tune a good deal oonflrmed by the country air 
and the influence of that imperceptible and un fatiguing 
exercise to which the good sense of my grandfather had 
subjected me; for when the day was fine, I was usually 
carried out and laid down beside the old shepherd, among 
the crags or rocks round which he fed his sheep. The 
impatience of a chUd soon inclined me to struggle with 
my infirmity, and I began by degrees to stand, to walk, 
and to run. Although the limb affected was much 
shrunk and contracted, my general health, which was of 
more uuportance, was much strengthened by being fre- 
quently m the open air, and, in a word, I, who in a city 
had probably been condemned to hopeless and helpless 
decrepitude, was now a heal%, high-spirited, and, my 
lameness apart, a sturdy child -non ,i,« diU animoJ, 

We went to London by sea, and it may gratify the 
curiosity of mmute biographers to learn that our voyage 
was performed in the Duchess of Buccleuch, CaptaL 
Beatson, alitor. At London we made a short stay; and 
MW some of the common shows exhibited to strangers. 
When, twenty-five years afterwards, I visited the Tower 
of London and Westminster Abbey, I was astonished to 
And how accurate my recollections of these celebrated 




places of visitation proTed to be, and I have ever since 
trusted more implicitly to my juvenile reminiscences. 
At Bath, where I lived about a year, I went tbrongh all 
the usual discipline of the pump-room and baths, but I 
believe without the least advantage to my lameness. 
During my residence at Bath, I acquired the rudiments 
of reading at a day-school, kept by an old dame near our 
lodgings, and I had never a more regular teacher, al- 
though I think I did not attend her a quarter of a year. 
An occasional lesson from my aunt supplied the rest. 
Afterwards, when grown a big boy, I had a few lessons 
from Mr. Stalker of Edinburgh, and finally from the 
Bev. Mr. Cleeve. But I never acquired a just pronun- 
dation, nor could I read with much propriety. 

In other respects my residence at Bath is marked by 
very pleasing recollections. The venerable John Home, 
autlior of Douglas, was then at the watering-place, and 
paid much attention to my aunt and to me. His wife, 
who has survived him, was then an invalid, and used to 
take the air in her carriage on the Downs, when I was 
often invited to accompany her. But the most delightful 
recollections of Bath are dated after the arrival of my 
uncle, Captain Bobert Scott, who introduced me to all 
the little amusements which suited my age, and above 
all, to the theatre. The play was As You Like It; and 
the witchery of the whole scene is alive in my mind at 
this moment. I made, I believe, noise more thiui enough, 
and remember being so much scandalized at the quarrel 
between Orlando and his brother in the first scene, that 
I screamed out, "A'n't they brothers?" A few weeks' 
residence at home convinced me, who had till then been 
an only child in the honse of my grandfather, that a 
quarrel between brothers was a very natural event. 

The other circumstances I recollect of my residence in 
Bath are but trifling, yet I never recall them without a 
feeling of pleasure. The beauties of the parade (which 
of them I know not), with the river Avon winding around 


it, and the lowing of the cattle from the opposite hill?, 

are warm in my recollection, and are only rivalled by 

the splendors of a toy-shop somewhere near the Orange 

Grove. I had acquired, I know not by what means, a 

hind of superstitious terror for statuary of all kinds. No 

anuient Iconoclast or modem Calvinist could have looked 

on the outside of the Abbey church (if I misiake not, the 

. prmcipal church at Bath is so oaUed) with more horror 

than the image of Jacob's Ladder, with aU its angels 

presented to my infant eye. My uncle effectually com- 

bated my terrors, and fonnaUy introduced me to a statue 

of Neptune, which perhaps still keeps guard at the side 

of the Avon, where a pleasure boat crosses to Sprine 

Gardens. ° 

After being a year at Bath, I returned first to Edin- 

burgh, and afterwards for a season to Sandy-Knowe; — 

and thus the time whUed away till about my eighth year, 

when it was thought sea bathing might be of service to 

my lameness. 

For this purpose, still under my annt's protection, I 
remamed some weeks at Prestonpans, a circumstance not 
worth mentioning, excepting to record my juvenile inti- 
mwy with an old military veteran, Dalgetty by name, who 
had pitehed his tent in that little village, after all his 
campaigns, subsisting upon an ensign's half-pay, though 
called by courtesy a Captain. As this old gentlemZi, 
who had been m all the German wars, found very few to 
listen to his tales of miKtary feats, he formed a sort of 
aUiance with me, and I used invariably to attend him for 
the pleasure of hearing those communications. Some- 
times our conversation turned on the American war 
which was then raging. It was about the time of Bur- 
goyne s unfortunate expedition, to which my Captain 
and I augured different conclusions. Somebody had 
showed me a map of North America, and, struck with 
the rugged appearance of the country, and the quantity 
of lakes, I expressed some doubto on tie subject of the 


Mr. 6 

General's arriTing safely at the end of his journey, which 
were veiy indignantly refuted by the Captain. The 
news of die Saratoga disaster, while it gave me a little 
triumph, rather shook my intimacy with the veteran.* 

1 Bwdei Hua Tatorsn, I fonnd anotluT ally at Prwtoopaiii, in the por- 
wm of QvagB Cotatablv. fia old friend of my father's, educated to the 
law, bat retired npon hit independent property, and generally redding 
near Dundee. He had many of thoae peouliaritiee of temper which long 
afterward! I tried to develop in the oluiracter of Jonathan Oldbuok. It ia 
▼ery odd, that though I am Tmeonsoious of anything in which I etrictly 
copied the manaeri of my old friend, the zeeemblance was neverthalaaa 
detected by George Chalmers, Esq., solicitor, Loodoo, an old frieid, both 
of my father and Mr. Constable, and who affirmed to my late friend, Lord 
Kinedder, that I mn«t needs he the anther of J%e Antiqunry, rinoe he 
r«o<«nized the portrait of Qeo^e ConiuUe. But my friend George was 
not so decided an enemy to womankind aa his fepresentatiTe Mookhans. 
On the contrary, I rather auspeot that he had a Undresse for my Aunt 
Jenny, who even then wae a most beautiful woman, though somewhat 
advanced in life. To the close of her life, ehe had the finest eyes and 
teeth I ever uw, and though she could be raffiidently sharp when she had 
a mind, her general behavior was genteel and ladylike. However tlua 
might be, I derived a great •^eal of curious information from George Con- 
stable, both at this early period, and afterwards. He was constantly phi- 
landering about my aunt, and o' oouna very kind to me. He was the 
f .tt person who told me about Falstaff and Hotspur, and other characteta 
in Shakespeare. What idea I annexed to them I know not ; but I mwt 
have annexed some, for I remember quite well beii« interested on tha 
aubject. Indeed, I rather snapeot that children derive impulses of a pow- 
erful and important kind in hearing things which they cannot entirely 
comprehend ; ind therefore, that to write down to children's miderstaud- 
ing is a mistake : set them on the scent, and let them puzzle it ont. To 
retam to George Toiwtable, I knew him well at a much laterperiod. Ha 
used always to dine at my father's house of a Sunday, and waa anthraiied 
to turn the conversation ont of the austere and Calvinistic tone, which it 
usually niMDtained on that day, upon snbieets oi history or anld langsyne. 
He remembered the forty-five, and told many excellent stories, all with a 
strong dash of f. peculiar caustic humor. 

George's sworn ally as a brother antiquary was John Davidson, than 
Keeper of the Signet ; and I remen-ber his flatterii^ and compelling ma 
to go to dine there. A writer's apprentice with the Keeper of the Signet, 
whose least officer kept us in order 1 — It was an awful event. Thither, 
however, I went with some secret expectation of a scantling of good 
claret. Mr. D. had a son whose taste inclined hhn to the army, to which 
his father, who had demgned him for the Bar, gave a most unwilling con- 
sent. He wBs at this time a youi^ officer, and he and I, leaving the two 
senior! tfl proceed in their chat as they pleased, never once opened t ; r 

months Mther to them or each other. The Pragmatic Sanction happened 




From Frestonpans I waa transported back to my 
father's house in George's Square, which continued to 
be my most established place of residence, until my mar- 
riage in 1797. I felt the change from being a single in- 
dulged brat, to becoming a member of a large family, very 
severely; for under the gentle government of my kind 
grandmother, who was meekness itself, and of my aunt, 
who, though of an higher temper, was exceedingly at- 
tached to me, I bad acquired a degree of license which 
could not be permitted in a large family. I had sense 
enough, however, to bend my temper to my new circum- 
stances; but such was the agony which I internally expe- 
rienced, that I have guarded against nothing more in the 
education of my own family, than against their acquiring 
habits of self-willed caprice and domination. I found 
much consolation during this period of mortification in 
the partiality of my mother. She joined to a light and 
happy temper of mind a strong turn to study poetry and 
works of imagination. She was sincerely devout, but 
her religion was, as became her sex, of a cast less austere 
than my father's. Still, the discipline of the Presbyte- 
rian Sabbath was severely strict, and I think injudi- 
ciously so. Although Bunyan's Pilgrim, Gessner's Death 
of Abel, Bowe's Letters, and one or two other books, 
which, for that reason, I still have a favor for, were ad- 
mitted to relieve the gloom of one dull sermon succeeding 
to another — there was far too much tedium annexed to 
the duties of the day; and in the end it did none of us 
any good. 

My week-day tasks were more agreeable. My lame- 

mfcrtniiitely to Inoomt the thune of thciit ooDmution, when CoutabU 
■^d in jeet, " Now, John, 1 11 w.d you • pUok that neither of thoee two 
Udi arer heard of the Prtpnatio Sanotion." — " Not hoard of the Pran- 
matio Sanction I " laid John Davidion i "IwooldBketo loe that ; " and 
with a voice of thnnder he asked hie eon the fatal qnestion. As yonng D. 
modeetly aUowed he knew nothing ahont It, hia father dioTe him from 
the table in a rage, and I abicondad dnring the confusion j nor conld Con- 
itablo CTer bring nu back a«;>in to his friend OaTidaon's. — () 



nesa and my aolitary habits had made me a tolerable 
reader, and my hours of leisure were usually spent in 
reading aloud to my mother Pope's translation of Homer, 
which, excepting a tew traditionaiy ballads, and the 
songs in Allan Bamsay's Evergreen, was the first poetry 
which I perused. My mother had good natural taste 
and great feeling: she used to make me pause upon those 
passages which expressed generous and worJiy senti- 
ments, and if she could not divert me from those which 
were descriptive of battle and tumult, she contrived at 
least to divide my attention between them. My own 
enthusiasm, however, was chiefly awahened by the won- 
derful and the terrible — the common taste of children, 
but in which I have remained a child even unto this day. 
I got by heart, not as a task, but almost without intend- 
ing it, tjie passages with which I was most pleased, and 
used to recite them aloud, both when alone and to others 
— more willingly, however, in my hours of solitude, for 
I had observed some auditors smile, and I dreaded ridi- 
cule at that time of life more than I have ever done 

In [1778] I was sent to the second class of the Gram- 
mar School, or High School of Edinburgh, then taught 
by Mr. Luke Eraser, a good Latin scholar and a very 
worthy man.' Though I had received, with my brothers, 
in private, lessons of Latin from Mr. James French, 
now a minister of the Kirk of Scotland, I was neverthe- 
less rather behind the class in which I was placed both 
in years and in progress. This was a real disadvantage, 
and one to which a boy of lively temper and talents ought 
to be as little exposed as one who might be less expected 
to make up his leeway, as it is called. The situation 
has the unfortunate effect of reconciling a boy of the 

* [Lord Cookbnm, in hifl Lift of Jeffrey, qaotes irith approval Scott'i 
oommendatioD of Mr. Fraaer, and adda, that thia t»a«her had the ain^- 
lar good fortune to torn out from three moeeaaiTe nliMni Walter ScotU 
Fraucia Jeffrey, and Henry Brongham.] 


former character (which in a poathumons work I may 
claim for my own) to holding a subordinate station among 
h« ohus-feUows — to which he would otherwise affix di.. 
grace. There is, also, from the constitution of the High 
Smhool, a certain danger not sufficiently attended to. 
The boys take precedence m their placet, as they are 
called, according to their merit, and it requires a long 
while, m general, before even a clever boy, if he falls 
behmd the chiss, or is put into one for which he is not 
quite ready, can force his way to the situation which his 
abilities really entitle him to hold. But, in the mean 
while, he 13 neoessarUy led to be the associate and com- 
panion of those inferior spirits with whom be is placed; 
for the system of precedence, though it does not limit the 
general mtercourse among the boys, has nevertheless the 
effect of throwing them into clubs and coteries, according 
to the vicinity of the seats they hold. A boy of good 
talenta, therefore, placed even for a time among his in- 
fenors, especially if they be also his elders, learns to 
participate in their pursuito and objects of ambition, 
which are usually very distinct from the acquisition of 
learning; and it wiU be weU if he does not also imitate 
them m that mdifPerence which is contented with bus- 
thng over a lesson so as to avoid punishment, without 
affeotmg snperioritv ^r. aiming at reward. It was prob- 
ably owing to this circumstance that, although at a more 
advanced period of life I have enjoyed considerable facil- 
ity m acquiring hmguages, I did not make any great 
figure at the High School-or, at least, any exertion, 
which I made were desultory and Uttle to be depended 

Our class contained some very excellent scholars. The 
first Dvx was James Buchan, who retained his honored 
place, almost without a day's interval, aU the while we 
were at the High School. He was afterward, at the 
Wd of the medical staff in Egypt, and in exposing him- 
»elf to the plague mfeotion, by attending the hospitaU 




there, diaplayed the iune well-regulated and gentle, yet 
determined, perMveranoe which placed him moat worthUy 
at the head of hii aohoolfellows, while many lada of live- 
lier parts and dispositions held an inferior station. The 
next best schohu^ (ted longo intervallo) were my friend 
David Douglas, the heir and give of the celebrated Adam 
Smith, and Jaires Hope, now a Writer to the Signet, both 
since well known and distinguished in their departments 
of the law. As for myself, I glanced like a meteor from 
one end of the class to the other, and commonly disgusted 
my kind master as much by negligence and frivolity, aa 
I occasionally pleased him by flashes of intellect and 
talent. Among my companions my good-nature and a 
flow of ready imagination rendered me very popular. 
Boys are uncommonly just in their feelings, and at least 
equally generous. My lameness, and the efforts which I 
made to supply that disadvantage, by making up in ad- 
dress what I wanted m activity, engaged the latter prin- 
ciple in my favor; and in the winter play hours, when 
hard exercise was impossible, my tales used to assemble 
an admiring andienoe round Lucky Brown's fireside, and 
happy was he that could sit next to the inexhaustible 
narrator. I was also, though often negligent of my own 
task, always ready to assist my friends, and hence I had 
a little parly of stanch partisans and adherents, stout 

of band and heart, though somewhat dull of head the 

very tools for raising a hero to eminence. So, on the 
whole, I made a brighter figure in the yards than in the 

I nti not lots dnoa, in that atitheiitie msofd eallad the Percy Antc- 
iota, that I bad bera adioated at Utuaalbugh loliiwl, whan I liad bam 
diatiiigiiiahxl aa an abaolota dtinoa ; ml; Dr. Blair, aeeing {artber into tba 
n»ll*one, bad prononnoad tkere vaa Sn in it I nerer waa at Mnaaal- 
bntgb achool in my lifa, and tbongb I hara mat Dr. Blair at my tatbar'i 
and elaavben, I narar bad tba good fo-t.>ne to attract bia notioa, to my 
knowledge. Laatly. I waa never a dunce, nor tbongbt to be ao, bnt an in- 
corrigibly idle imp, wbo wai alwaya longing to do Hmething elae tban 
what waa enjoined Urn. — (18211.) 


My father did not tnut our eduoation solel; to our 
High School lenou. We had » tutor at home, a vounK 
man of an excellent dispoiition, and a laborious student! 
He waa bred to the Kirk, but unfortunately took such a 
reiy strong turn to fanaticism, that he afterwards resigned 
an excellent Uving in a seaport town, merely because be 
oonld not persuade the mariners of the gnilt of setting 
«U of a Sabbath, -in which, by the bye, he wwi leJi 
likely to be successful, as, OBteru paribus, sailors, from 
an opinion that it is a fortunate omen, always choose to 
weigh anchor on tliat day. The calibre of this younir 
nian s understanding may be judged of by this anecdote ; 
but m other respects he was a faithful and active in- 
•tructor; and from him chiefly I learned writing and 
anUimetio. I repeated to hhu my French lessons, and 
studied with bun my themes in the classics, but not ohis- 
•icaily. I also acquired, by disputing with him (for thU 
he readily permitted), some knowledge of school divinity 

1„ -twi. J'l'u'^'u"'? ' «^' ««q°"ntance in particu- 
lar wiSi the old books describing the early history of the 
Chnroh of Scotland, the wars and sufferings of the Cove- 
nanters, and «, forth. I, with a head on fire for chiv- 
»liy, was a Cavalier; my friend was a Eoundhead: I 
WM a Tory, and he was a Whig. I hated Presbytoriamu 
and admired Montrose with his victorious Highlander^ 
he liked the Presbyterian Ulysses, the .^ark LdZm, 
Argyle: so that we never wanted subjects of dispute; but 
our disputes were always amicable. In aU these tenets 
there wu no red conviction on my part, arising out of 
acq^ntance with the view, or principles of either party; 
nor had my antagonist address enough to turn the debate 

Ki„?^ f "^tV i^^ °P "y !»"'*'» »' *!>«* Period. «• 
Kmg Charles II. did his religion, from an idea that the 

Cav^er creed was tie more gentlemanlike persuasion of 

After having been three years under Mr. Fraser, onr 
Class was, m the usual routine of the school, turned over 



to Dr. Adam, the Rector. It wm from thii reipeotmble 
num that I Rnt learned the value of the knowledge I had 
hitherto oontidered only ai a burdenaome taak. It waa 
the faahiott to remain two yean at hia olau, where we 
read Cnaar, and Livy, and Salliut, in prute; Virgil, 
Horace, and Terence, in verse. I had by thii time maa- 
tered, in some degree, the difScultiea of the language, 
and began to be aenaible of its beauties. This waa really 
gathering grapes from thistles i nor shall I soon forget 
the swelling of my little pride when the Rector pro> 
nounced, that though many of my schoolfellows under- 
stood the Latin better, Gualtenu Scott was behind few 
in following and enjoying the author's meaning. Thus 
encouraged, I distinguished myself by some attempts at 
poetical versions from Horace and Virgil. Dr. Adam 
used to invite bis usholars to such essays, but never made 
them tasks. I gained some distinction upon these occa- 
sions, and the Rector in future took much notice of me; 
and his judicious mixture of censure and praise went far 
to counterbalance my habits of indolence and inattention. 
I saw I was expected to do well, and I was piqued in 
honor to vindicate my master's favorable opinion. I 
climbed, therefore, to the first form ; and, though I never 
made a first-rate Latinist, my schoolfellows, and what 
was of more consequence, I myself, considered that I had 
a character for learning to maintain. Dr. Adam, to 
whom i owed so much, never failed to remind me of my 
obligations when I had made some figure in the literary 
world. He was, indeed, deeply imbued with that fortu- 
nate vanity which alone could induce a man who has 
arms to pare and bum a muir, to submit to the yet more 
toilsome task of cultivating youth. As Catholics confide 
in the imputed righteousness of their saints, so did the 
good old Doctor plume himself upon the success of his 
scholars in life, all of which he never failed (and often 
justly) to claim as the creation, or at least the fruits, of 
his early instructions. He remembered the fate of eveiy 


1783 nu lyjDiyj^jnArnt if 

boy at Ui Khool during the fifty yamn he had raiNiriii. 
tended it, and alwayi tnoed their ■ucoeet or midortunes 
entirely to their attention or negligence when under hie 
oare. Hii "noiiy man.ion," which to others would hare 
been a melancholy bedlam, wa« the pride of liii heart; 
and the only fatigue, be folt, amidit din and tumult, and 
the neceuity of reading theme., hearing leuou, and 
mamtaming wme degree of order at the same time, were 
rehered by comparing himwlf to CiBwr, who could dic- 
tate to three Moretarie. at once; — to ready i. vanity to 
u^hten the Ubor. of duty. 

It i. a pity that a man u learned, k admirably 
adapted for hi. .tation, to uwful, w .implo, w> eaeUy 
eontented, should have had other lubjeot. of mortifica- 
tion. But the magiatrate. of Edinburgh, not knowing 
the treaiure they pouessed in Dr. Adam, encouraged a 
•avage feUow, called Niool, one of the undenna.ter., in 
injulting bis perwn and authority. This man was an 
excellent cbuucal schoUr, and an admirable convivial 
hnmoriat (which latter quality recommended bun to the 
friendrfiip of Bum.); but worthlew, drunken, and in- 
humanly cruel to the boys under hi. charge. He carried 
hi. feud against the Rector within an inch of awassination, 
for he waylaid and knocked him down in the dark. The 
favor which thi. worthleu rival obtained in the town 
council led to other conwquences, which for tome time 
clouded poor Adam', happiness and fair fame. When 
the French Revolution broke out, and parties ran high 
in approving or condemning it, the Dontor incautiously 
jomed the former. Thi. wa. very natural, for a. all his 
idea, of existing government, were derived from his ex- 
perience of the town council of Edinburgh, it must be 
admitted they warce brooked comparison with the free 
states of Rome and Greece, from which he borrowed hi. 
opmione concerning repubUcs. His want of caution in 
•peaking on the political topic, of the day lost him the 
reepeot of the boy., moat of whom were accustomed to 




hMur very diffnant opiniooi on thoN nutten in the 
botom of their familiat. Thii, howerer (which wu long 
•ftar my time), paned kway with other heats of the 
period, end the Doctor oontinned hie Ubon till about a 
year eince, wlien l>e was struck with palsy while teaching 
his class. He surrived a few days, but becoming deli- 
rions before his dissolution, conceived he was still in 
■ohool, and after some expressions of appUuse or censure, 
he said, "But it grows dark — the boys may dismiss," — 
and instantly expired.' 

From Dr. Adam's class I should, according to the 
nsual rontine, hare proceeded immediately to ooUege. 
But, fortunately, I was not yet to lose, by a total dismis- 
sion from constraint, the acquaintance with the Latin 
which I had acquired. My health had become rather 
delicate from rapid growth, and my father was easily 
persuaded to allow me to spend half a year at Kelso with 
my kind aunt. Miss Janet Scott, whose inmate I again 
became. It was hardly worth mentioning that I had 
frequently visited her during our short vacations. 

At this time she resided in a small house, situated very 
pleasantly in a large garden, to the eastward of the 
churohyud of Kelso, which extended down to the Tweed. 
It was then my father's property, from whom it was 
afterwards purchased by my uncle. My grandmother 
was now dead, and my aunt's only companion, besides 
an old maid-servant, was my cousin. Miss Barbara Scott, 
now Mrs. Meik. My time was here left entirely to my 
own disposal, excepting for about four hours in the day, 
when I was expected to attend the Orammar School of 

1 [OnDM«iiilMi27,180e,«fnrda;isftarDr.Adm'idNith,8oi>tt«iitM 
to Mn. Tkomo SeoU: "Pootold Dr. Adam diid lart ««k attn • tuj 
•kort mtxu, which 8nt •ffected him ill lehooL He wu light-head^ 
sad eoatinQfld to apeak aa in the olaai nntil the Taiy hut, when, baTing 
been aileot for many hotua, he aaid, ' Hiat Horaoe waa very well laid ; you 
did not do it ao weU ; ' then added faintly, ' Bnt it gmn dark, Tarj dark, 
the boya may diimiia,' and witk tkaaa atrikiiv weida ha alpind." — 
Familiar LHUn, toL L p. IM.] 



the village. 



_ The teacher at that time wag Mr. Lancelot 
Whale, an excellent clawical scholar, a humorist, and a 
worthy man. He had a supreme antipa% to the puns 
which his very uncommon name frequently gave rise to- 
msomuch, that he made his son spell the word W<de 
which only occasioned the young man being nicknamed 
Me Pnnce of WaU» by the military mess to which he 
belonged. As for Whale, senior, the least aUnsion to 
Jonah, or the terming him an odd fish, or any similar 
qmbble, was sure to put him beside himself. In point 
of knowledge and taste he was far too good for the situa- 
tion he held, which only required that he should give his 
scholars a rough foundation in the Latin language. My 
time with him, though short, was spent greaUy to mv 
adrantage and his gratification. He was glad to escape 
to Persius and Tacitus from the eternal Rudiments and 
ComeUus Nepos; and as perusing these authors with one 
who began to understand them was to him a labor of 
love, I made considerable progress under his instructions 
1 suspect, indeed, that some of the time dedicated to me 
was withdrawn from the instruction of his more regular 
scholars; but I was as grateful as I could be. I acted as 
usher, and heard the inferior classes, and I spouted the 
speech of Galgacus at the public examination, which did 
not make the less impressior on the audience that few of 
them probably understood one word of it. 

In the mean while my acquaintance with English liter- 
ature was gradually extending itself. In the intervals of 
my school hours I had always perused with avidity such 
books of history or poetry or voyages and travels as 
chance presented to me — not forgetting the usual, or 
rather ten times the usual, quantity of fairy tales. Eastern 
stories, romances, ete. These studies were totally un- 
regulated and undirected. My tutor thought it ahnost 
a sin to open a profane pUy or poem; and my mother, 
besides that she might he in some degree trammelled by 
the rehgious scruples which he suggested, had no longer 



the opportunity to hear me read poetry as formerly. I 
found, however, in her dressing-room (where I slept at 
one time) some odd volumes of Shakespeare, nor can I 
easily forget the rapture with which I sat up in my shirt 
reading them by the light of a fire in her apartment, 
until the bustle of the family rising from supper warned 
me it was time to creep back to my bed, where I was 
supposed to have been safely deposited since nine o'clock. 
Chance, however, threw in my way a poetical preceptor. 
This was no other than the excellent and benevolent Dr. 
Blacklock, well known at that time as a literary charac- 
ter. I know not how I attracted his attention, and that 
of some of the young men who boarded in his family; 
but so it was that I became a frequent and favored guest. 
The kind old man opened to me the stores of his library, 
and through his recommendation I became intimate with 
Ossian and Spenser. I was delighted with both, yet I 
think chiefly with the latter poet. The tawdry repeti- 
tions of the Ossianic phraseology disgusted me rather 
sooner than might have been expected from my age. 
But Spenser I could have read forever. Too young to 
trouble myself about the allegory, I considered all the 
knights and ladies and dragons and giant» in their out- 
ward and exoterio sense, and God only knows how de- 
lighted I was to find myself in such society. As I had 
always a wonderful facility in retaining in my memory 
whatever verses pleased me, the quantity of Spenser's 
stanzas which I could repeat was really marvellous. But 
this memory of mine was a very fickle ally, and has 
through my whole life acted merely upon its own capri- 
cious motion, and might have enabled me to adopt old 
Beattie of Meikledale's answer, when complimented by 
a certain reverend divine on the strength of the same 
faculty: — "No, sir," answered the old Borderer, "I 
have no command of my memory. It only retains what 
hits my fancy; and probably, sir, if you were to preach 
to me for two hours, I would not be able when you fin- 





uhed to remember a word you had been saying." My 
memory wag precisely of the same kind: it seldom failed 
to preserve most tenaciously a favorite passage of poetry, 
a playhouse ditty, or, above aU, a Border-raid ballad; 
but names, dates, and the other technicalities of history, 
escaped me m a most melancholy degree. The philoso- 
phy of history, a much more important subject, was also 
a sealed book at this period of my life; but I gradually 
assembled much of what was striking and picturesque in 
historical narrative; and when, in riper years, I attended 
more to the deduction of general principles, I was fur- 
nished with a powerful host of examples in illustration of 
them. I was, in short, like an ignorant gamester, who 
kept a good hand until he knew how to play it. 

I left the High School, therefore, with a great quantity 
of general information, Ul arranged, indeed, and collected 
without system, yet deeply impressed upon my mind- 
really assorted by my power of connection and memoty, 
and gilded, if I may be permitted to say so, by a vivid 
and active imagination. If my studies were not under 
any direction at Edinburgh, in the country, it may be 
well imagined, they were less so. A respectable sub- 
scription library, a circulating library of ancient stand- 
ing, and some private book-shelves, were open to mv 
random perusal, and I waded into the stream like a blind 
man into a ford, without the power of searching my way, 
unless by groping for it. My appetite for books was as 
ample and indiscriminating as it was indefatigable, and 
I smce have had too frequently reason to repent that few 
ever read so much, and to so litUe purpose. 

Among the valuable acquisitions I made about this 
time was an acquaintance with Tasso's Jerusalem Deliv. 
ered, through the flat medium of Mr. Hoole's transla- 
tion But above all, I then first became acquainted with 
aishop Percy's Keliques of Ancient Poetry. As I had 
been from infancy devoted to legendary lore of this 
nature, and only reluctantly withdrew my attention, from 



the aoaroity of material* and tbe rudeneM of those which 
I poneued, it may be UMgiaed, but cannot be dewribed, 
with what delight I saw pieces of the same kind wUak 
had amused my childhood, and still vontinned in anal 
the Delilaha of my imagination, oonsidered as the aubjeot 
of sober researeh, grave oommentary, and apt illustra- 
tion, by an editor who showed ris poetical genius «a* 
capable of emulating the best qualities of what his pinu 
labor proserved. I remember well the spot where I read 
these volumes for the first time. It was beneath a huge 
phttanus-tree, in the ruins of what had been intended for 
an old-fashioned arbor in the garden I have mentioned. 
The summer day sped onward so fast that, notwithstand- 
ing the sharp appetite of thirteen, I forgot the hour of 
dinner, was sought for with anxiety, and was still found 
entranced in my intellectual banquet. To read and to 
remember was in this instance the same thing, and hence- 
forth I overwhelmed my schoolfellows, and all who 
would hearken to me, witii tragical recitations from the 
ballads of Bishop Tercy. The first time, too, I could 
scrape a few shillings together, which were not common 
occurrences with me, I bought unto myself a copy of 
these beloved volumes; nor do I believe I ever read a 
book half so frequently, or with half the enthusiasm. 
About this period, also, I became acquainted with the 
works of Richardson, and those of Mackenzie — (whom 
in later years I became entitled to call my friend) — with 
Fielding, Smollett, and some others of our best novelists. 
To this period, also, I can trace distinctly the awaking 
of that delightful feeling for the beauties of natural ob- 
jects which has never since deserted me. The neighbor- 
hood of Kelso, the most beautiful, if not the most roman- 
tic village in Scotland, is eminently calculated to awaken 
these ideas. It presents objects, not only grand in them- 
selves, but venerable from their association. The meet- 
ing of two superb rivers, the Tweed and the Teviot, both 
lenowned in song — the ruins of an ancient abbey — the 




more distent vestiges of Roibmgh Castle — the modern 
mansion of Fleurs, wliioh is so situated as to combine the 
ideas of ancient baronial grandeur with those of modem 
taste — ate in themselves objects of the flrat class; yet 
•re so mixed, united, and melted among a thousand other 
beauties of a less prominent description, that they har- 
monize into one general picture, and please rather by 
onison than by concord. I believe I have written unin- 
telligibly upon this subject, but it U fitter for the pencU 
than the pen. The romantic feelings which I have de- 
scribed as predominating in my mind, naturally rested 
upon and associated themselves with these grand feature* 
of the landscape around mej and the historical incidents, 
or traditional legends connected with many of them, gave 
to my admiration a sort of intense impression of rever- 
ence, which at times made my heart feel too big for its 
bosom. From this time the love of natural beauty, more 
especially when combined with ancient ruins, or remains 
of our fathers' piety or splendor, became with me an in- 
satiable passion, which, if circumstances had permitted, 
I would willingly have gratified by travelling over half 
the globe. 

I was recalled to Edinburgh about the time when the 
College meets, and put at once to the Humanity class, 
under Mr. Hill, and the first Greek class, taught by Mr. 
Dalzell. The former held the reins of discipline very 
loosely, and though beloved by his students, for he wag 
a good-natured man as weU as a good scholar, he had 
not the art of exciting our attention as well as liking. 
This was a dangerous character with whom to trust one 
who reUshed labor a* little as I did, and amid the riot 
of his class I speedily lost much of what I had learned 
under Adam and Whale. At the Greek class, I might 
have made a better figure, for Professor Dalzell main- 
tained a great deal of authority, and was not only himself 
an admirable scholar, but was always deeply interested 
m the progress of hU students. But here lay the vU- 



xt, 14 

I ' 


Uiny. Almot*; oil my oompuiioiu who had left the High 
School at the I'ime time with myielf had aoquiied a unat- 
tering of GteeK before they came to College. I, alai, 
had none; and finding myself far inferior to all my fel- 
low-atudenta, I oould hit upon no better mode of vindi- 
eating my equality than by professing my contempt for 
the language, and my rewlu'' jn not to learn it. A youth 
who died early, himself an excellent Greek scholar, saw 
my negligence and folly with 1 in, instead of contempt. 
He oame to call on me in f- '11^ s Square, and pointed 
out in the strongest terms th - jilliness of the conduct I 
had adopted, told me I w& Jistinguished by the name of 
the Greek Blockhead, and exhorted me to redeem my 
reputation while it was called to-day. My stubborn 
pride received this advice with sulky civility; the birth 
of my Mentor (whose name was Archibald, the son of an 
innkeeper) did not, as I thought in my folly, authorize 
him to intrude upon me his advice, lie other was not 
sharp-sighted, or his consciousness of a generous inten- 
tion overcame his resentment. He offend me his daily 
and nightly assistance, and pledged himself to bring me 
forrard with the foremost of my class. 1 felt some 
twinges of conscience, but they were unable to prevail 
over my pride and self-conceit. The poor lad left me 
■ore in sorrow tiian in anger, nor did we ever meet 
again. All hopes of my progress in the Greek were now 
over; insomuch that when we were required to write 
essays on the authors we had studied, I had the audacity 
to produce a composition in which I weighed Homer 
against Ariosto, and pronounced him wanting in the 
bahmce. I supported this heresy by a profusion of bad 
reading and flimsy argument. The wrath of the Pro- 
fessor was extreme, while at the same time he could not 
suppress his surprise at the quantity of out-of-the-way 
knowledge which I displayed. He pronounced upon me 
the severe sentence — that daace I was, and dunce was 
to remain — which, however, my excellent and learned 





friend Kved to revoke over a bottle of Burgundy, at our 
Hteiaiy Club at Fortune'a, of which he wu a dirtin- 
guiihed member. 

MMnwhile, a. if to eradicate my .lighteet tincture of 
Oreek, I fell ill during the middle of Mr. DaheU'. wc- 
ond clau, and migrated a second time to Kelw — where 
I again continued a long time reading what and how I 
pleawd, and of course reading nothing but what afforded 
me unmediate entertainment. The only thing which 
saved my mind from utter dissipation was that turn for 
historical pursuit, which never abandoned me even at the 
idlest period. I had forsworn t:. Latin chusics for no 
iwson I know of, unless because they were akin to the 
Greek; but the occasional perusal of Buchanan's history 
«i8t of Matthew Paris, and other monkish chronicles, 
kept up a kind of familiarity with the language even in 
its rudest state. But I forgot the very letters of the 
Greek alphabet; a loss never to be repaired, considering 
what that language is, and who they were who employed 
It m their compositions. 

About thU period — or soon afterwards — my father 
judged it proper I should study mathematics, a study 
■pon which I entered with aU the ardor of novelty. My 
tutor was an aged person. Dr. MacFait, who had in his 
time bera distinguished as a teacher of this science. 
Ag», bowever, and some domestic inconveniences, had 
diminished his pupils, and lessened his authority 
amongst the few who remained. I think that had I 
Wen more fortuMtely placed for instruction, or had I 
*ad the spur of emalation, I might have made same pro- 
giess m this soieiiiie, of which, under the circumstances 
1 have mentiosted, I only acquired a very superficial 

In other studies I was rather more fortunate. I made 
some pr<«ress in Ethics under Professor Jobs Bruce 
and was selected, as one of his students whose progress he 
approved, to read an essay be«sn Principal Robertson. 






[t '',' 


I I 

I wu firtber iutruated in Moral Philoiophy at the claH 
of Mr. Dugald Stewart, whoM strikiiig and impreHive 
eloquence riveted the attention even of the moet volatile 
student. To lum up my aeademioal itudiet, I attended 
the claw of Hiitoiy, then Uught by the prewnt Lord 
Woodhouwlee, and, a* far a* I remember, no othen, 
excepting thow of the Civil and Municipal Law. So 
that, if my learning be flim«y and inaccurate, the reader 
murt have some compassion even for an idle workman, 
who had so narrow a foundation to build upon. If, how- 
ever, it should ever faU to the lot of youth to peruse these 
pages — let such a reader remember that it is with the 
deepest regret that I recollect in my manhood the oppor- 
tunities of learning which I neglected in my youth; that 
through every part of my literary career I have felt 
pinched and hampered by my own ignorance; and that 
I would at this moment give half the reputation I have 
had the ^ood fortune to acquire, if by doing so I could 
rest the remaining part upon a sound foundation of learn- 
ing and science. 

I imagine my father's reason for sending me to so few 
classes in the College was a desire that I should apply 
myself particularly to my legal studies. He had not 
determined whether I should fill the situation of an Ad- 
vocate or a Writer; but judiciously considering the tech- 
nical knowledge of the latter to be useful at least, if not 
essential, to a barrister, he resolved I should serve the 
ordinary apprenticeship of five years to his own profes- 
sion. I accordingly entered into indentures with my 
father about 1786-86, and entered upon the dry and 
barren wilderness of forms sm" conveyances. 

I cannot reproach myself with being entirely an idle 
apprentice — far less, as the reader might reasonably 
have expected, 

'* A olerk fondooia''l my father*! loiil to enM." 

The drudgery, indeed, of the office I disliked, and the 


oouBntment I altogMher detettad j bat I lovad nj father, 
ind I felt the ntionU pride and pleMuraof rendering 
myielf luefal to him. I was ambitioiu alw; and anwns 
my oompanioni in Ubor, the only way to gmtify ambi- 
tion wa. to Ubor hard and well. Other oircumstancea 
reooneiJed me m lome meaeure to the eonanement. The 
aUowanoe for oopy-money furnished a litUe fund for the 
mmutjUainrt of the cirnJating library and the theatre; 
and thi» was no trifling incentive to Ubor. When ac- 
tually at the oar, no man could pull it harder than I, and 
I remember writing upwards of 120 folio pages with no 
mterval either for food or rest. Again, the hours of 
attendance on the office were lightened by the power of 
ohoosmg my own books, and reading them in my own 
way, which often oonsUted in beginning at the middle or 
the end of a volume. A deceased friend, who was a 
feUow-apprentioe with me, used often to express his sur- 
^se that, after such a hop-step-and-iump perusal I 
W as much of the book as he had been able to acquire 
Irom reading it in the usual manner. My desk usuaUy 
oontamed a store of most miscellaneous volumes, esp^ 
oudly works of fiction of every kind, which were my su- 
preme delight. I might except novels, unless those of 
the better and higher chiss; for though I read many of 
them, yet it was with more selection than might have 
been expected. The whole Jemmy and Jenny Jessamy 
tabe I abhorred, and it required the art of Bumey, or 
the feeling of Mackenxie, to fix my attention upon a do- 
mestic tale. But aU that was adventurous and romantic 
J devoured without much discrimination, and I really be- 
ueve I have read as much nonsense of this cUss as any 
man now living. Evorything wj-ich touched on knight 
errantry was particularly aoceptable to me, and I soon 
attempted to imitate what I so greatly admired. My 
efforte, however, were in the manner of tlie tele-telkr 
not of the bard. ' 

My greatest intimate, from the days of my school-tide, 

ItmOCOn HBOWTION tbt chait 

(ANSI ond ISO lESV CHART No. 2) 


■^1^ 1^ 




1^ 1^ 





/1PPLIED irvHGE In. 



f f' 


was Mr. John Irving, now a Writer to the Signet. We 
lived near each other, and by joint agreement were wont, 
each of us, to compose a romance for the other's amuse- 
ment. These legends, in which the martial and the 
miraculous always predominated, we rehearsed to each 
other during our walks, which were usually directed to 
the most solitary spots about Arthur's Seat and Salis- 
bury Crags. We naturally sought seclusion, for we were 
conscious no small degree of ridicule would have attended 
our amusement, if the nature of it had become known. 
Whole holidays were spent in this singular pastime, 
which continued for two or three years, and had, I be- 
lieve, no small effect in directing the turn of my imagi- 
nation to the chivalrous and romantic in poetry and 

Meanwhile, the translations of Mr. Hoole having made 
me acquainted with Tasso and Ariosto, I learned from 
his notes on the latter, that the Italian language con- 
tained a fund of romantic lore. A part of my earnings 
was dedicated to an Italian class which I attended twice 
a week, and rapidly acquired some proficiency. I had 
previously renewed and extended my knowledge of the 
French language, from the same principle of romantic 
research. Tressan's romances, the Bibliotheqne Bleue, 
and Bibliotheqne de Bomans, were already familiar to 
me, and I now acquired similar intimacy with the works 
of Dante, Boiardo, Pulci, and other eminent Italian 
authors. I fastened also, like a tiger, upon every collec- 
tion of old songs or romances which chance threw in my 
way, or which my scrutiny was able to discover on the 
dusty shelves of James Sibbald's circulating library in 
the Parliament Square. This collection, now dismantled 
and dispersed, contained at that time many rare and 
curious works, seldom found in such a collection. Mr. 
Sibbald himself, a man of rongh manners but of some 
taste and judgment, cultivated music and poetry, and in 
his shop I had a distant view of some literaiy ohMacters, 





besides the privilege of ransacking the stores of old 
French and Italian books, which were in little demand 
among the bulk of his subscribers. Here I saw the un- 
fortunate Andrew Macdonald, author of Vimonda; and 
here, tOT, I saw at a distance the boast of Scotland, 
Bobert Bums. Of the Utter I shall presently have occa- 
sion to speak more fully. 

I am inadvertently led to confound dates while I talk 
of this remote period, for, as I have no notes, it is im- 
possible for me to remember with accuracy the progress 
of studies, if they deserve the name, so irregular and 
misoeUaneous. But about the second year of my appren- 
tjceship my health, which, from rapid growth and other 
causes, had been hitherto rather uncertain and delicate, 
was affected by the breaking of a blood-vessel. The 
regimen I had to undergo on this occasion was far from 
agreeable. It was spring, and the weather raw and cold, 
yet I was confined to bed with a single blanket, and bled 
and blistered tiU I soareely had a pulse left. I had all 
the appetite of a growing boy, but was prohibited any 
sustenance beyond what was absolutely necessary for the 
support of nature, and that in vegetables alone. Above 
all, with a considerable disposition to talk, I was not 
permitted to open my lips without one or two old kdies 
who watched my couch being ready at once to souse upon 
me, '^ 

" impotiiig ■aeme witk a rtilly nmiid." > 
My only refuge was reading and playing at chess. To 
flie romances and poetry, which I chiefly delighted in, I 
had always added the study of history, especiaUy as con- 
nected with military eventa. I was encouraged in this 
latter study by a tolerable acquaintance with geography 
and by the opportunities I had enjoyed while with Mr. 
MacFait to learn the meaning of the more ordinary terms 
of fortification. While, therefore, I Uy in this dreary 
and silent soUtude, I fell upon the resource of iUustrat- 
* [Hoiu'i Dougliu.} 




ing the batUw I read of by the childish expedient of 
arranging sheila, and seeds, and pebbles, so as to repre- 
sent encountering armies. Diminutive cross-bows were 
contrived to mimic artillery, and with the assistance of 
a friendly carpenter I contrived to model a fortress, 
which, like that of Uncle Toby, represented whatever 
place happened to be uppermost in my imagination. I 
fought my way thus through Vertot's Knights df Malta 
— a book which, as it hovered between history and ro- 
mance, was exceedingly dear to me ; and Orme's interest- 
ing and beautiful History of Indostan, whose copious 
plans, aided by the clear and luminous explanations of 
the author, rendered my imitative amusement peculiarly 
easy. Other moments of these weary weeks were spent 
in looking at the Meadow Walks, by assistance of a com- 
bination of mirrors so arranged that, while lying in bed, 
I could see the troops march out to exercise, or any other 
incident which occurred on that promenade. 

After one or two relapses, my constitution recovered 
the injury it had sustained, though for several months 
afterwards I was restricted to a severe vegetable diet. 
And I must say, in passing, that though I gained health 
under this necessary restriction, yet it was far from being 
agreeable to me, and I was affected whilst under its influ- 
ence with a nervousness which I never felt before or since. 
A disposition to start upon slight alarms — a want of de- 
cision in feeling and acting, which has not usually been 
my failing — an acute sensibility to trifling inconveniences 
— 'and an unnecessary apprehension of contingent misfor- 
tunes, rise to my memory as connected with my vegetable 
diet, although they may very possibly have been entirely 
the result of the disorder and not of the cure. Be this as 
it may, with this illness I bade farewell both to disease 
and medicine; for since that time, till the hour I am now 
writing, I have enjoyed a state of the most robust health, 
having only had to complain of occasional headaches or 
stomachic afCections when I have been long without taking 

H' i, 



exeTcise, or have lived too conTivially — the ktter having 
been occasionally, though not habitually, the error of my 
youth, as the former has been of my advanced life. 

My frame gradually became hardened with my consti- 
tution, and being both tall and muscular, I was rather 
disfigured than disabled by ray lameness. This personal 
disadvantage did not prevent me from taking much ex- 
ercise on horseback, and making long journeys on foot, in 
the course of which I often walked from twenty to thirty 
miles a day. A distinct instance occurs to me. I re- 
lember walking with poor James Ramsay, my fellow- 
apprentice, now no more, and two other friends, to break- 
fast at Prestonpans. We spent the forenoon in visiting 
the ruins at Seton, and the field of battle at Preston — 
dined at Prestonpans on tUed haddocks very sumptuously 
— drank half a bottle of port each, and returned in the 
evening. This could not be less than thirty miles, nor do 
1 remember being at all fatigued upon the occasion. 

These excursions on foot or horseback formed by far 
my most favorite amusement. I have all my life delighted 
in travelling, though I have never enjoyed that pleasure 
upon a large scale. It was a propensity which I some- 
times indulged so unduly as to idarm aud vex my parents. 
Wood, water, wilderness itself, had an inexpressible 
charm for me, and I had a dreamy way of going much 
farther than I intended, so that unconsciously my return 
was protracted, and my parents had sometimes serious 
muse of uneasiness. For example, I once set out with 
Mr. George Abercromby ' (the son of the immortal Gen- 
eral), Mr. William Clerk, and some others, to fish in the 
lake above Howgate, and the stream which descends from 
it into the Esk. Wa breakfasted at Howgate, and fished 
the whole day ; and while we were on our return next 
morning, 1 was easily seduced by William Clerk, then a 
great intimate, to visit Pennycuik-house, the seat of his 
family. Here he and John Irving, and I for their sake, 
1 Now Lord Aberoioiiib;. — (1826.) 



MT. 17 


were overwhelmed with kindness by the late Sir John 
Clerk and his lady, the present Dowager Lady Clerk. 
The pleasure of looking at fine pictures, the beauty of the 
place, and the flattering hospitality of the owners, drowned 
all recollection of home for a day or two. Meanwhile 
our companions, who had walked on without being aware 
of OUT digression, returned to Edinburgh without us, and 
excited no small alarm in my father's household. At 
length, however, they became accustomed to my esca- 
pades. My father used to protest to me on such occasions 
that he thought I was bom to be a strolling pedlar; and 
though the prediction was intended to mortify my conceit, 
T am not sure that I altogether disliked it. I was now 
familiar with Shakespeare, and thought of Autolycus's 
song — 

" JojT on, jog on, the foot>path waf, 

And mtmly hent the itile-a : 

A merry heart g^e all the day, 

Your nd tirea in a mile-a." 

My principal object in these ^cursions was the plea- 
sure of seeing romantic scenery, or what afforded me at 
leait equal pleasure, the places which had been d'stin- 
guished by remarkable historical events. The delight 
with which I regarded the former, of course had general 
approbation, but I often found it difficult to procure sym- 
pathy with the interest I felt in the latter. Yet to me, 
the wandering over the field of Bannockbum was the 
source of more exquisite pleasure than gazing upon the 
celebrated landscape from the battlements of Stirling 
castle. I do not by any means infer that I was dead to 
the feeling of picturesque scenery ; on the contrary, few 
delighted more in its general effect. But I was unable 
with the eye of a painter to dissect the various parts of 
the scene, to comprehend how the one bore upon the other, 
to estimate the effect which various features of the view 
bad in producing its leading and general effect. I have 
never, indeed, been capable of doing this with precision 




or nicety, thongb my latter stodiea have led me to artnd 
kjd arrange my original ideas upon the subject. en 
the humble ambition, which I long cherished, of r ng 
•ketches of those places which interested me, fro de- 
fect of eye or of hand was totally ineffectual. After long 
study and many efforts, I was unable to apply the ele- 
ments of perspective or of shade to the scene before me, 
and was obliged to relinquish in despair an art which I 
was most anxious to practise. But show me an old castle 
or a field of battle, and I was at home at once, filled it 
with its combatants in their proper costume, and over- 
whelmed my hearers by the enthusiasm of my description. 
In crossing Magus Moor, near St. Andrews, the spirit 
moved me to give a picture of the assassination of the 
Archbishop of St. Andrews to some fellow-travellers with 
whom I was accidentally associated, and one of then, 
though well acquainted with the story, protested my nar- 
rative had frightened away his niglit's sleep. I mention 
this to show the distinction between a sense of the pic- 
turesque in action and in scenery. If I have since been 
able in poetry to trace with some success the principles 
of the latter, it has always been with reference to its 
general and leading features, or under some alliance with 
moral feeling; and even this proficiency has cost me 

study Meanwhile I endeavored to make amends for 

my ignorance of drawing, by adopting a sort of technical 
memory respecting the scenes I visited. Wherever I 
■went, I cut a piece of a branch from a tree — these con- 
stituted what I called my log-book; and I intended to 
have a set of chessmen out of them, each having refer- 
ence to the place where it was cut — as the kings from 
Falkland and Holy-Rood; the queens from Queen Mary's 
yew-tree at Crookston; the bishops from abbeys or epis- 
copal palaces; the knighto from baronial residences; the 
rooks from royal fortresses; and the pawns generally 
from places worthy of historical note. But this whimsi- 
cal design I never carried into execution. 


44 SIR WALTER SCOTT jet. 17 

With mi»io it wu eren wone thsn with painting. 
My mother wu anxioiu we should at leait k' .n Psal- 
mody ; but the incurable defecta of my voice and ear soon 
drove my teacher to despair.' It is only by long prac- 
tice that I have acquired the power of selecting or distin- 
guishing melodies ; and although now few things delight 
or affect me more than a simple tune sung with feeling, 
yet I am sensible that even this pitch of musical taste 
has only been gained by attention and habit, and, as it 
were, by my feeling of the words being associated with 
the tune. 1 have, therefore, been usually unsuccessful 
in composing words to a tune, although my friend. Dr. 
Clarke, and other musical composers, have sometimes 
been able to make a happ^ union between their musio 
and my poetry. 

In other points, however, I began to make some 
amends for the irregularity of my education. It is well 
known that in Edinburgh oa^ great spur to emulation 
among youthful students is in those associations called 
literary societies, formed not only for the purpose of de- 
bate, but of composition. These undoubtedly have some 
disadvantsges, where a bold, petulant, and disputatious 
temper happens to be combined with oonsidersble in- 
formation and talent. Still, however, in order to such a 

^ The 1at« Alexander Cmmpbell, ft vftrm-hearted ntao, waA an nitlinai- 
■at in Soottiflh moaio, wliish he iai^ most IwantifnUy, had this ni^^te- 
fnl task impoaed on him. Ha wia a man of many aooompliihmenta, bnt 
daaHed with a bizamru of tompar whioh made th«m naelaaa to their pro- 
prietor. He wrote aereial booka — as a Tour tn Scotland, ete. ; — and he 
made an advantaffeona marriage, bnt fell nevertheleee into diatrpwied oil- 
ooniitances, which I had the pleeenre of retierinsr. if I ooald not remoro. 
Hie ae»e of gratitude wae Tery etrong. and ehowed itaelf oddly in one re- 
epeet. He would oeTer allow that I had a bad ear ; bnt contended, that 
if I did not nndeistand mnsio, it waa becanee 1 did not ohooee to learn it. 
Bnt when he attended na in George*a Sqnare, onr neighbor, Lady Cam- 
ming, eent to beg the boyi might not be all flogged precisely at the same 
hoar, aa, thongh she had no donbt the pnniahment was deserved, the noise 
of the concord was really dreadful. Robert was the only one of onr family 
who could sing, thongh my father waa musical, and a performer on tha 
violoneallo at the gentUnten'a eoaeerts. — (1826.) 



penon being actnally spoiled by hii mixing in lacli de- 
bates, his talents must be of a very tare natun, or his 
effrontery must be proof to every species of assault; for 
there is generally, in a well-selected society of this ra- 
ture, talent sufBcient to meet the forwardest, and satire 
enough to penetrate the most undaunted. I am particu- 
larly obliged to this sort of club for introducing me about 
my seventeenth year into the society which at one time I 
had entirely dropped; for, from the time of my illness at 
college, I had had little or no intercourse with any of my 
class-companions, one or two only excepted. Now, how"- 
ever, about 1788, I began to feel and take my ground in 
society. A ready wit, a good deal of enthusiasm, and a 
perception that soon ripened into tact and observation of 
character, rendered me an acceptable companion to many 
young men whose acquisitions in philosophy and science 
were infinitely superior to anything I could boast. 

In the business of these societies — for I was a member 
of more than one successively — I cannot boast of haviig 
made any great figure. I never was a good speaker un- 
less upon some subject which strongly animated my feel- 
ings ; and, as I was totally unaccustomed to composition, 
as well as to the ai-t of generalizing my ideas upon any 
subject, my literary essays were but very poor work. I 
never attempted them unless when compelled to do so by 
the regulations of the society, and then I was like the 
Lord of Castle Eackrent, who was obliged to cut down 
a tree to get a few fagots to boil the kettle; for the 
quantity of ponderous and miscellaneous knowledge, 
which I really possessed on many subjects, was not easily 
condensed, or brought to bear upon the object I wished 
particularly to become master of. Yet there occurred 
opportunities when this odd lumber of my brain, espe- 
cially that which was connected with the recondite parts 
of history, did me, as Hamlet says, "yeoman's service." 
My memory of events was like one of the large, old-fash- 
ioned stone-cannons of the Turks — very difficult to load 

»^ c 



/ET. 19 

Weil and diaoharge, but nudcing a powerful effect when 
by good chance any objoct did come within range of iti 
shot. Such fortunate opportunities of exploding with 
effect maintaineil my literary character among my com- 
paniona, with whom I loon met with great indulgence and 
regard. The persona with whom I chiefly lived at this 
period of my youth were William Clerk, already men- 
tioned; James Edmonstoune, of Newton; George Aber- 
cromV^; Adam Ferguson, son of the celebrated Profes- 
sor Ferguson, and who combined the lightest and most 
airy temper with the best and kindest disposition ; John ' 
Irving, already mentioned ; the Honorable Thomas Dou- 
glas, now Earl of Selkirk; David Boyle,' — and two or 
three others, who sometimes plunged deeply into politics 
and metaphysics, and not unfiequently "doffed the world 
aside, and bid it paas." 

Looking back on these times, I cannot applaud in all 
respects the way in which our days were spent. There 
was too much idleness, and sometimes too much convi- 
viality : but our hearts were warm, our minds honorably 
bent on knowledge and literary distinction; and if I, 
certainly the least informed of the party, may be permit- 
ted to bear witness, we were not without the fair and 
creditable means of attaining the distinction to which we 
aspired. In this society I was naturally led to correct 
my farmer useless course of reading; for — feeling my- 
self greatly inferior to my companions in metaphysical 
philosophy and other branches of regular study — I 
labored, not without some success, to acquire at least 
such a portion of knowledge as might enable me to main- 
tain my rank in conversation. In this I succeeded pretty 
well ; but unfortunately then, as often since through my 
life, I incurred the deserved ridicule of my friends from 
the superficial nature of my acquisitions, which being, 
in the mereantile phrase, got up for society, very often 
proved flimsy in die textiu«; and thus the gifts of an 
> Now Lord JutiM-Cbik. — (1828.) 




uncommonly retentive memory and acute poweis of per- 
oeption were •ometimei detrimental to their posseaaor by 
encouraging him to a presumptuous reliance upon them. 

Amidat theae atudiea, and in thia aociety, the time o.' 
my apprenticeahip elapsed; and in 1790, or tboreabouk 
it became necessary that I should seriously consider ' 
which department of the law I was to attach myself. My 
father behaved with the most parental kindness. He 
offered, if I preferred his own profession, immediately to 
take me into partnership with him, which, though hia 
business was much diminished, ttill afforditd me an im- 
mediate prospect of a handsome nidependence. But he 
did not disguise his wish that 1 should relinquish this 
situation to my younger brother, and embrace the more 
ambitious profession of the Bar. I bad little hesitation 
in making my choice — for I was never very fond of 
money; and in no other particular do the professions 
admit of a comparison. Besides, I knew and felt the in- 
conveniences attached to that of a Writer; and I thought 
(like a young man) many of them were "ingenio non 
Bubeunda meo." The appearance of personal dependence 
which that profession requires was disagreeable to me; 
the sort of connection between the client and the attorney 
seemed to render the latter more subservient tlan was 
quite agreeable to my nature; and, besides, I had seen 
many sad examples, while overlooking my father's busi- 
neas, that the utmost exertions, and the best meant ser- 
vices, do not secure the man of butinett, as he is called, 
from great loss, and most ungracious treatment on the 
part of his employers. The Ehr, though I was conscious 
of my deficiencies as a public speaker, was the line of 
ambition and liberty; it was that also. for which moat of 
my contemporary friends were destined. And, lastly, 
although I would willingly have relieved my father of 
the labors of his business, yet I saw plainly we c dd not 
have agreed on some partiotdars if we had attempted to 
conduct it together, md that I should disappoint his 





expeoUtioni if I did not torn to the Bar. So to that 
object my ttudiea weru ilireoted witli great ardor and 
peraeverance during the years 1T89, 1790, 1791, 1 ''i. 

In the uaual courtw of itudy, the Roman or Ci\ t Law 
wa« the first object of my attention — the second, the 
Municipal Law of Scotland. In the course of reading 
on both subjects, I had the advantage of studying in 
conjunction with my friend William Clerk, a man of the 
most acute intellects and powerful apprehension, and 
who, should he ever shake loose the fetters of indolence 
by which he has been hitherto trammelled, cannot fail to 
be distinguished in the highest degree. We attended 
the regidar classes of both laws in the University of Edin- 
burgh. The Civil Law chair, now worthily filled by 
Mr. Alexander Irving, might at that time be considered 
as in abeyance, since the person by whom it was occupied 
had never been fit for the situation, and was then almost 
in a state of dota je. But the Scotch Law lectures were 
those of Mr. Dai id Hume, who still continues to occupy 
that situation with as much honor to himself as advantage 
to his country. I copied over his lectures twice with my 
own hand, from notes taken in the class; and when I 
have had occasion to consult them, I can never sufB- 
ciently admire the penetration rod clearness of conception 
which were necessary to the arrangement of the fabric of 
law, formed originally under the strictest influence of 
feudal principles, and innovated, altered, and broken in 
upon by the change of times, of habits, and of manners, 
until it resembles some ancient castle, partly entire, 
partly ruinous, partly dilapidated, patched and altered 
during the succession of ages by a thousand additions and 
combinations, yet still exhibiting, with the marks of its 
antiquity, symptoms of the skill and wisdom of its found- 
en, and capable of being analyzed and made the subject 
of a methodical plan by an architect who can understand 
the various styles ol the different ages in which it was 
subjected to alteration. Such an architect has Mr. 


Hnnifl been to the law of SeotUnd, neither wandering 
into fanciful and abttnue diaqui«itioni>, which are the 
more proper subject of the antiquary, nor latiifled with 
prewnting to bit pupils a dry and undigested detail of 
the laws in their present state, but vombining the past 
state of our legal enactmenU with the present, and tra- 
cing clearly and jmliciously the changes which took pUoe, 
and the causes which led to them. 

Under these auspices I commenced my legal studies. 
A little parlor was assigned me in my father's Louse, 
which was spacious and convenient, and I took the exclu- 
sive possession of my new realms with all the feelings of 
novelty and liberty. Let me do justice to the only years 
of my life in which I applied to learning with stem, 
steady, and undeviating industry. The rule of my friend 
Clerk and myself was that we should mutually qualify 
ourselves for undergoing an examination upon certain 
points of law every morning in the week, Sundays ex- 
cepted. This was at first to have taken place alternately 
at each other's houses, but we soon discovered that my 
friend's resolution was inadequate to severing him from 
his couch at the early hour fixed for this exercitation. 
Accordingly I agreed to go every morning to his house, 
which, being at the extremity of Prince's Street, New 
Town, was a walk of two miles. With great punctu- 
ality, however, I beat him up to his task every morning 
before seven o'clock, and in the course of two summers, 
we went, by way of question and answer, through the 
whole of Heinecoius's Analysis of the Institutes and 
Pandects, as well as through the smaller copy of Er- 
skine's Institutes of the Law of Scotland. This course 
of study enabled us to pass with credit the usual trials, 
which, by the regulations of the Faculty of Advocates, 
must be undergone by eveiy candidate for admission into 
their body. My friend William Clerk and I passed these 
ordeals on the same days — namely, the Civil Law trial 
on the [80th June, 1791], and the Soots Law trial on the 



[6th July, 1792]. On the [11th July, 1792], we both 
assumed the gown with all its duties and honors. 

My progress in life during these two or three years 
had been gradually enlarging my acquaintance, and 
facilitating my entrance into good company. My father 
and mother, already advanced in life, saw little society 
at home, excepting that of near relatious, or upon par- 
ticular occasions, so that I was left to form connections 
in a great measure for myself. It is not difficult for a 
youth with a real desire to please and be pleased, to make 
his way into good society in Edinburgh — or indeed any- 
where; and my family connections, if they did not greatly 
further, had nothing to embarrass my progress. I was 
a gentleman, and so welcome anywhere, if so be I could 
behave mysf^lf, as Tony Lumpkin says, "in a concatena- 
tion accordingly." 





Sib Walteb Scott opens his brief account of his an- 
cestry with a playful allusion to a trait of national char- 
acter, whish has, time out of mind, furnished merriment 
to the neighbors of the Scotch; but the zeal of pedigree 
was deeply rooted in himself, and he would have been the 
last to treat it with serious disparagement. It has often 
been exhibited under circumstances sufficiently grotesque; 
but it has lent strength to many a good impulse, sustained 
hope and self-respect under many a difficulty and dis- 
tress, armed heart and nerve to many a bold and resolute 
struggle for independence; and prompted also many a 
generous act of assistance, which under its influence alone 
could have been accepted without any feeling of degrada- 

He speaks modestly of his own descent; for, while 
none of his predecessors had ever sunk below the situa- 
tion and chanicter of a gentleman, he had but to go three 
or four generations back, and thence, as far as they could 
be followed, either on the paternal or maternal side, they 
were to be found moving in the highest ranks of our 
baronage. When he fitted up, in his later years, the 
beautiful hall of Abbotsford, he was careful to have the 
armorial bearings of his forefathers blazoned in due order 
on the compartments of its roof; and there are few in 
Scotland, under the titled nobility, who could trace their 
blood to so many stocks of historical distinction. 




In the Minrtrelsy of the Scottish Border, and Notes to 
The Lay of the Last Minstrel, the reader will find sundry 
notices of the "Banld Butherfords that were sae stout," 
and the Swintons of Swinton in Berwickshire, the two 
nearest houses on the maternal side. An illustrious old 
warrior of the latter family. Sir John Swinton, extolled 
by Froissart, is the hero of ibe dramatic sketch, Halidon 
Hill; and it is not to be omitted, that through the Swin- 
tons Sir Walter Soott could trace himself to William 
Alexander, Earl of Stirling, the poet and dramatist.' 
His respect for the worthy barons of Newmains and Dry- 
burgh, of whom, in right of his father's mother, he was 
the representative, and in whose venerable sepidchre his 
remains now rest, was testified by his Memorials of the 
Haliburtons, a small volume printed (for private circu- 
lation only) in the year 1820. His own male ancestors 
of the family of Harden, whose lineage is traced by Dou- 
glas in his Baronage of Scotland back to the middle of 
the fourteenth centuyy, when they branched off from the 
great blood of Buco'iench, have been so largely celebrated 
in his various writings, that I might perhaps content 
myself with a general reference to those pages, their only 
imperishable monument. The antique splendor of the 
ducal house itself has been dignified to all Europe by the 
pen of its remote descendant; but it may be doubted 
whether his genius could have been adequately developed, 
had he not attracted, at an early and critical period, the 
kindly recognition and support of the Buccleuchs. 

The race had been celebrated, however, long before 

1 On Sir Waltn'a DopT o< Mtermlioiu with the Mimt, i]r WiUian, Earl 
of StirliHf, 1687, time i> Ui« f oUoiriiig MS. note ; — " Sir WiUum Alex- 
ander, tilth Baron of Menatrie, and fint Earl of Stirling, tlie friend of 
Dranunond of Hawthomden and Ben Jonaon, died in 1640. Hia eldeat 
eon, William, Viaconnt Canada, died before hia father, leaving one aon and 
three danghtera hj hia wife. Lady Margaret Donglaa, eldeat daughter of 
William, fiiat Marqnia of Donglaa. Margaret, the aeeond of theae dangh- 
tera, married Sir Rohert Sinclair of Lengformaeoa in the Meiae, to whom 
■he here two danghtera, Anne and Jean. Jean Sinclair, the yonnger 
dsnghter, married Sir John Swinton of Swinton ; and Jean Swinton, her 
eldeet daughter, waa the grandmother of the proprietor of thia Tolnme." 



bii day, by a minatrel of its own; nor did he conceal hU 
beli^ that he owed much to the influence exerted over 
hie juvenile mind by the rude but enthusiastio clan- 
poetry of old SatchelU^ who describes himself on kia 
Htle-page as 

" Captdn Walter Soot, an old Sonldier and do SolwUtr, 
And one that ean write nsne, 
But juit the Letten of hit Name." 

His True History of several honourable Families of the 
Bight Honourable Name of Scot, in the Shires of Rox- 
burgh and Selkirk, and others adjacent, gathered out of 
Ancient Chronicles, Histories, and Traditions of our 
Fathers, includes, among other things, a string of com- 
plimentary rhymes addressed to the first Laird of Rae- 
bum; and the copy which had belonged to that gentle- 
man was in all likelihood about the first book of verses 
that fell into the poet's hand.* How continually its 

> Bk iatoUy well ramember the delight whieh he ezpieiwd on leoeiT- 
bg, in 1818, a oopy of this fint edition, a small dark qnarfo of 1688, fima 
hie friend Constable. He waa breakfaitiiig when the preeent waa deliT- 
ered, sod eud, " Thia is indeed the tenmction of an old aUy — I mind 
V^ing theae linea." He read aload the jingling epistle to his own great- 
gnatpgrandfather, which, like the rert, omeladea with a broad hint, that 
as the aathor had neither lands nor flocks — " no estate left except his de- 
^gnation ** — the more fortunate kinsman who enjoyed, like Jason of old, 
a h&r share otjiaeei, might do wone than bestow on him some of King 
James's broad piecf^. On rising from table, Sir Walter immediately wrote 
as follows on the blank leaf opposite to poor Satchells' honeat title-pi^ — 
" I, Waltsr Soott 4tf Abbotrford, a pom ubolsr, no Midler, but a wMlflT'i low:, 

Xntbe rtjleof mrasmeMkesodUnMnandohantvdlMOTer, 

Hut I have wrfttn the tweatr-toor Irttan twaoty-tosr infllkiQ times oter ; 

And to sverj tme-bon Boott I do wbh u muty golden ptsoas 

As ever were haln In Jason's and Medea's golden tlMow." 

The rarity of the original edition of SatohelU is such, that the eopy now at 
Abbotiford waa the only one Mr. Constable had ever seen— and no wonder, 
for th« •ntiior's entwy is in the«o words : — 

" BsgoM, my book, ■tntch forth tta; wings and fly 
Amongit the nobles tad BvatUIty ; 
Tboa *rt not to Mil to aaaTaogen sad ekxros, 
Bat ginn to worthy persouot renown. 
The nnmbsr'i few I 're plated. In r^nrd 
Uy eharges hsve been grsefe, sad I hope reward I 
I oaw'd not print many ebon twelve soore, 

•■IK«d ths( tlMy AaU pint no more." 



wild and uncouth doggerel was on his lips to his htest 
day all his familiars can testify; and the passages which 
he quoted with the greatest sest were those commemora- 
tive of two ancient worthies, both of whom Lad had to 
contend against physical misfortune similar to his own. 
The furmer of dieae, according to Satchells, was the 
immediate founder of the branch originally designed of 
Sinton, afterwards of Harden : — 

" It i* fou hnndnd wliit«n paat in cwdir 
Sinofl that Bacelenoh waa Warden ill Uw Border ; 
A eon he had at th ' same tide, 
Which wae eo lame could oeithn mn nor ride. 
John, thie lame aon, if my author apeaka tme, 
He eent him to St. Mongo'i in Glaiffn, 
Where he remained a echolar'i time, 
Then married a wife aeoordinf to hia mind. , . , 
And betwixt them twa waa prooreat 
Headihaw, Aakirk, Snraoir, and CUaok." 

But, if the scholarship of John the Lamiter furnished 
his descendant with many a mirthful allusion, a far 
greater favorite was the memory of William the Bolt- 
foot, who followed him in the sixth generation : — 

■* The Laird and LadT of Harden 
Betwixt them procieat waa a ion 
Called William Boltfoot of Harden." 

The emphasis with which this next Iir3 was quoted I can 
never forget : — 

" S» did Mrtn'tw to ie a kah.** 

He was, in fact, one of the "prowest knights" of the 
whole genealogy — a fearless horseman and expert spear- 
man, renowned and dreaded; and I suppose I have heard 
Sir Walter repeat a dozen times, as he was dashing into 
the Tweed or Ettrick, "rolling red from brae to brae, " 
a stanza from what he called an old ballad, though it was 
most likely one of his own early imitations ; ~- 
** To iak the f cord he aja wm flnt, 
Unleae the Rngiifl, loona war* near ; 
Flnnge ranal than, plnn^ hone and nun, 
Anld Boltfoot ridaa into the rear." 



"From ohUdhood's earliest hour," saya the poet in one 
<rf his last Journals, "I have rebelled against external 
oiroumstanoes." How largely the traditional famonsnesi 
of the stalwart Boltfoot may have helped to develop this 
element of his character, I do not pretend to say; but I 
cannot avoid regretting that Lord Byron had not discov- 
ered such another "Deformed Transformed" among his 
own chivalrous progenitors. 

So long as Sir Walter retained his vigorous habits, 
he used to make an autumnal excursion, with whatever 
friend happened to be his guest at the time, to the tower 
of Harden, the incunabula of his race. A more pictur- 
esque scene for the fastness of a lineage of Border marau- 
ders could not be conceived; and so much did he delight 
in it, remote and inaccessible as its situation is, that, in 
the earlier part of his life, he had nearly availed himself 
of his kinsman's permission to fit up the dilapidated ped 
for his summer residence. Harden (the ravine of hares) 
is a deep, dark, and narrow glen, along Huich a little 
mountain brook flows to join the river Borthwiok, itself 
a tributary of the Teviot. The castle is perched on the 
brink of the precipitous bank, and from the ruinous win- 
dows you look down into the crows' nests on the summits 
of the old mouldering elms, that have their roots on the 
margin of the stream far below: — 

" Wbttre Borths hoaiM, tlut load! the meftda withnod. 
Rolls her nd tide to Teviot'e western sttsnd, 
Through sktj hills, whose sides sie shag^ with thorn. 
Where springs in aosttsrsd tnfti the eom, 
Towers wood-girt Harden fsr shore the tsIs, 
And elonds of ravens o'er the turrets sail. 
A hardy race who never shmnlE from war, 
The Scott, to pval realms a might; bar, 
Here fixed h< monntain home ; — a wide domain. 
And rich the soil, had purple heath been grain ; 
Bat what the niggard gronnd of wealth denied, 
From fields more hlees'd his fearless arm snppUsd." ' 
I Lsyden, the author of thess bsantifnl lines, hss homiwed, tththiy 
ilftke LoMt MiMtrd did also, from one of Satehells's primitiTe oonpltte— 
" If heether-tope had lM«o oorn of the bert, 
lhenBno<iliwghiB]lllM4 gotten sauMsgriit." 



It wa» to this wUd retreat that the Harden of The Lay 
of the Laat Minstrel, the Auld Wat of a hundred Border 
dittiea, brought home, in 1567, hia beautiful bride, Mary 
Soott, "the Flower of Yarrow," whose grace and gentle- 
ness have lived in song along with the stem virtues of 
her lord. She is said to have chiefly owed her celebrity 
to the c^ratitude of an English captive, a beautiful child, 
whom she rescued from the tender mercies of Wat's 
moss-troopers, on their return from a foray into Cumber- 
land. The youth grew up under her protection, and is 
believed to have been the composer both of the words 
and the music of many of the best old gongs of die Bor- 
der. As Leyden says, 

" Hii fn tke itnln wkoM nalnat tduM thrill 
The ihepherd lingering on the twilight hill, 
When erening bringethe merrr folding home, 
And mn-ered daiaiee eloie their vinking flowen. 
He lived o'er Tanow's Flower to ihed the tear. 
To strew the holly leaTes o'er Hatden'e bier ; 
Bnt none waa found above the minatrel'e tomb, 
Xmblem of peace, to hid the daisy bloom. 
He, nameleaa as the laoe from which he sprung, 
Sared other names, and left hia own onsnng." 

We are told that when the last bullock which Anid 
Wat had provided from the English pastures was con- 
sumed, the Flower of Yarrow phu»d on her table a dish 
containing a pair of clean spurs; a hint to the company 
that they must bestir themselw for their next dinner. 
Sir Walter adds, in a note to tLj Minstrelsy, "Upon 
one occasion when the village herd was driving out the 
cattle to pasture, the old laird heard him call loudly to 
drive out Harden'scow. 'Harden's com/' echoed the 
affronted chief; ' is it come to that pass? By my faith 
they shall soon say Harden's kye ' (cows). Accordingly, 
he sounded his bogle, set out with his followers, and next 
day retamed with a horn of hye, and a basaen'd (brin- 
died) buU. On his return with this gallant prey, he 
passed a very large hayslaok. It occurred to the provi- 


d«it bird that this wouM be extromely convenient to 
fodder hu new itooli of cattle; but aa no meana of tnuia- 
porting It were obvioni, he waa fain to take leave of it 
with the lipoatropho, now become proverbial — ' By raw 
aoirf, had ye hU four fut, ye ,hould not .(and lang 
i J 1 Iv '' " ^"""rt «»y» of a similar class of 
feudal robbers, nothing came amiss to them that waa not 
too heavy or too hot." 

Another strilcing chapter in the genealogical history 
belongs to tim marriage of Anld Wat's son and heir, 
aftOTwards Sir William Scott of Harden, distinguished 
by the early favor of James VI., and severely fined for 
hu loyalty under the usurpation of Cromwell. The 
period of this genUeman's youth was a very wUd one in 
that district. The Border clans still made war on each 
other oooasionaUy, much in the fashion of their fore- 
fathers; and the young and handsome heir of Harden, 
engaging in a foray upon the lands of Sir Gideon Murray 
of Ehbank, treasurer-depute of Scotland, was overpow- 
ered by that baron's retainers, and carried in shackles to 
his castle, now a heap of ruins, on the banks of the 
Tweed. EKbank's "doomtree " extended its broad arms 
close to the gates of his fortress, and the indignant laird 
was on the point of desiring his prisoner to say a last 
prayer, when his more considerate dame interposed milder 
counsels, suggesting that the culprit was borr to a good 
estate, and that they had three unmarried daughten. 
Young Harden, not, it is said, without hesitation, agreed 
to save his life by taking the phiinest of the three off 
their hands, and the contract of marriage, executed in- 
stantly on the parchment of a drum, is still in the char- 
ter-chest of his noble representative. 

Walter Scott, the third son of this oonple, was the 
first Laird of Eaebum, already alluded to as one of the 
patrons of Satohells. He married Isabel Maodougal, 
daughter of Macdougal of Makerstonn — a famUy of 
great antiquity and distinction in Eoxburghshiie, of 



whoM blood, through Tarioui alliances, the poet had a 
laige ihare in hia veina. Baeburn, though the son and 
brother of two steady Cavaliers, and married into a family 
of the same political creed, became a Whig, and at last 
a Quaker: and the reader will find, in one of the notes 
to The Heart of Mid-Lothian, a singular account of the 
persecution to which this backsliding exposed him at the 
hands of both his own and his wife's relations. He was 
incarcerated (a. d. 1666), first at Edinburgh and then at 
Jedburgh, by order of the Privy Council — his children 
were forcibly taken from him, and a heavy sum was levied 
on his estate yearly, for the purposes of their education 
beyond the reach of his perilous influence. "It appears," 
says Sir Walter, in a MS. memorandum novr before me, 
"that the Laird of Makerstonn, his brother-in-law, joined 
with Baebum's own elder brother. Harden, in this sin- 
gular persecution, as it will now be termed by Christians 
of all persuasions. It was observed by the people that 
the maje line of the second Sir William of Harden be- 
came extinct in ITIO, and that the representation of 
Makerstoun soon passed into the female line. They as- 
signed as a cause, that when the wife of Baebnm found 
herself deprived of her husband, and refused permission 
even to see her children, she pionounced a malediction 
on her husband's brother as well as on her own, and prayed 
that a male of their body might not inherit their pro- 

The MS. adds, "of the first Baebum's two sons it 
may be observed that, thanks to the discipline of the 
Privy Co'mcil, they were both good schohirs." Of these 
sons, Walter, the second, was the poet's great-grand- 
father, the enthusiastic Jacobite of the autobiographical 
fragment, — who is introduced, 

" mth amba bMid ud «ax«i lisii. 
And nvamd spoikdie lir," 

in the epistle prefixed to the sixth canto of Marmion. A 



good portnit of Boarded Wst, painted for hit friend 
Pitoaim, was pretented by the Doctor's grandson, the 
Earl of Kellie, to the father of Sir Walter. It is now 
at Abbotsford ; and shows a considerable resemblance to 
the poet. Some verses addressed to the original by his 
kinsma n Walter Scott of Harden are given in one of 
the Notes to Marmion. The old gentleman himself is 
said to have written verses oocasionally, both English 
and Latin ; but I never heard more than the burden 
of a drinking-song — 

" BmrU emeu, barbs mmt, 
Dooeo esidniiB ivTireaeU." * 

Scantily as the worthy Jacobite seems to have been 
provided with this world's goods, he married the daugh- 
ter of a gentleman of good condition, "tlirough irhom," 
says the MS. memorandum already quoted, "his descen'l- 
ants have inherited a connection with some honorable 
branches of the Slioch nan Dianaid, or Clan of Camp- 
bell." To this conneotion Sir Walter owed, as we shall 
see hereafter, many of those early opportunities for study- 
ing the manners of the Highlanders, to which the world 
are indebted for Waverley, Bob Boy, and The Lady of 
the Lake. 

Bobert Scott, the son of Beardie, formed also an hon- 

1 Siim thb book waa ftit pnblialied, I Yum aeag in print A rem en 
lie Dtalk of MoMUr Waller Seatt, uha died al Kelio, yeteteber 3, 1719, writ- 
ten, it ia aaid, by Sir William Soott of Thirlaatana, Bart, tha mala aiMiiie 
tor ol Lead Napier. It haa tbeaa linea ; — 

** Hla eaa m m brMthad tbe ChriitlaD. On hii iaegue 
Tbe pnUM 0( nliglcn anr hong ; 
WlMifle It ippMnd he did on aoUd gnund 
Ooaunrad the plMMIM wbleh UnMlf had fgmid. . . . 
Hia TMMisblt mlui wd gaodir air 
Viz on OUT hawt* ImpreMiaaa atnng and blr. 
rail aemtr Toan had ahad thalr attreiT glow 
Annnd Ua kioka, and made hla haatd to grow ; 
That daoaat taaard, which hi baoomliv graoa 
Dtd avnad a tinnnd hoaMv on Ua iaoa," etc — (IBBS.) 



onbk lUIanM. Hi* fathar-ia-law, Thoouu Halibiiiioa,' 
the Uut bnt on* o{ tht "good laiidi of Nowmabi," tn- 
tend his muriago m followi in tha domMtio teooid, 
vhi'tli Sir VfiHn'i pioni mpcet iadnoed him to have 
printed nearly a oentnrjr afterwrnrde; — "My leoond 
daughter Barbara i* married to Bobert Seott, eon to 
Walter Soott, nnole to Baebnm, upon this lixteen day 
of Jnly, 1728, at my home of Drybnrgh, by Mr. Jamee 
Innes, miniiter of Mertonn, their mothen being eon- 
■ingi; may the blening of tlie Lord reet upon them, and 
make tliem comfort* to each other and to all their rela- 
tione; " to which the editor of the Memorials adds this 
note — "May Ood grant that the prayers of the excel- 
lent persons who have passed away may avail for the 
benefit of those who soooeed them t — Jiiots/bnf, Nov., 

I need scarcely remind the reader of the exquisite de- 
scription of the poet's grandfather, in the Introduction 
to ^ third canto of Mannion — 

— — ^ " tha th a teh i d maniion's grmj-hMix'i dz«, 
WiM olthoat Innliv, phii ud gooil, 

> " 9wvm tha fa na al fl g i aal dadodkn in tha Mniwriah, h vpfMn that 
Oa Halibartooa of Vawmaivg waia daaaaDdad from and ia|iiiiaiilai1 tha 
aneUnt BDd oaaa powaffal tjuufly of HalihvtDD of MartooB. irUeh baoama 
axtinot in tha baffauiinc of tha aifhtaaath oantory. Tha flnt of thJa lat- 
tar faaaiij pti Miwai i tha landa and hatoay cf Martoan by a ohartar grantad 
hj AiaUb^ Earl of DooglM and Load €< GaUowa; (ooa of thoae tranaB* 
doaa lorda whoaa aoRnata o onn ta r po fa ad tha Saottiah arowa), to Hanry da 
HaUbnrtoa, whom ha dw aig n at a a aa hia atandard-haaiar, on aeeoont of hia 
aarrioa to tha aarl la Eiwlaad. On thia aaoout tha HaWmttona of Mar- 
tonn and thoaa of Nowmafaia, in additlaa to ^ artna bona by tha Halt- 
bartons of Dirlaton (tha andaot ohiafa of that onea sraat and povarfol, bat 
now almost ag tin gala h ad nama) ~Tia. or, oaa band ozhtb, thna maaolca of 
thafint— gaTathadiatinotiTa baaring of a baahla of thaaaaondin tha 
•iniatar oantoa. Thaaa anna ttill appaar on miona old tonba In tha ab- 
baya of Malroaa and Dryboxgh, aa wall aa oa thair hoaaa at Drybnrgh, 
vbiok waa bnilt in 1SJ2." — K8. Mtmmndwii, ISM. Sir Walter waa 
aarred hair to duaa Halibortona aooD aftar tha data of tUa Mflmorandam, 
and thenoatorth inarterad tha araia abora dMaribad wDh thoaa of hia 
paternal family. 




.y. on 1-. ',-*,•-* ' - 



Whow ST*, in a^ qiiiok,olMr, aod keen, 
Showml what in yoath iti gUnoe had been ; 
WboM doom diseonling mifrhbora lotiglit, 
Cootent vitli equity nnlMiigliL" 

In tiie Preface to Guy Mannering, we have an anecdote 
ot Kobert Scott in his earlier days: "My grandfather 
whUe nding over Charterhouse Moor, then a very exton- 
HTC common, feU suddenly among a lai^ band of gyp. 
ues, who were carousing in a hoUow surrounded by 
bushes. They instantly seized on his bridle with shouts 
of welcome, exclaiming that they had often dined at hU 
expense, and he must now stay and share their cheer. 
My ancestor was a little alarmed, for he had more money 
^ut his person than he oared to risk in such society. 
However, being naturally a bold, lively spirited man, he 
entered into the humor of the thing, and sat down to the 
feast, which consisted of aU the varieties of game, poul- 
try, pigs, and so forth, that could be collected by a wide 
and mdiscriminate system of plunder. The dinner was 
• very merry one, but my relative got a hint from some 
of the older gypsies, just when ' the mirth and fun grev 
fast and furious,' and mounting his horse accordingly 
he took a French leave of his entertainers." His grand- 
son might have reported more than one scene of the like 
sort in which he was himself engaged, whUe hunting the 
same district, not in quest of foxes or of cattle sales, like 
tte Goodman of Sandy-Knowe, but of ballads for the 
Minstrelsy. Gypsy stories, as we are told in the same 
mfaoe, were frequently in the mouth of the old man 
when his face "brightened at the evening fire," in the 
days of the poefs ohUdhood. And he adds that, "as Dr 
Johnson had a shadowy recoUeotion of Queen Anne as 
8 stately lady in bhwk, adorned with diamonds," so his 
own memory was haunted with "a solemn remembrance 
rf a woman of more thaa female height, dressed in a long 
red cloak, who once made her appearance beneath the 
thatehed roof of Sandy-Knowe, commenced acquaintance 




by giving him an apple, and whom he looked on, nerer- 
theless, with as much awe as the future doctor, High 
Church and Tory as he was doomed to be, could look 
upon the Queen." This was Madge Gordon, grand- 
daughter of Jean Gordon, the prototype of Meg Mer- 

Of Bobert of Sandy-Knowe, also, there is a very toler- 
able portrait at Abbotsford, and the likeness of the poet 
to his grandfather must have forcibly struck every one 
who has seen it. Indeed, but for its wanting sjme inches 
in elevation of forehead — (a considerable want, it must 
be allowed) — the picture might be mistaken for one of 
Sir Walter Scott. The keen, shrewd expression of the 
eye, and the remarkable length and compression of the 
upper lip, bring him exactly before me as he appeared 
when entering with all the zeal of a professional agricul- 
turist into the merits of a pit of marie discovered at 
Abbotsford. Had the old man been represented with his 
cap on his head, the resemblance to one particular phasis 
of the most changeful of countenances would have been 

Bobert Scott had a numerous progeny, and Sir Walter 
has intimated his intention of recording several of them 
"with a sincere tribute of gratitude " in the contemplated 
prosecution of his autobiography. Two of the younger 
sons were bred to the naval service of the East India 
Company; one of whom died early and unmarried; the 
other was the excellent Captain Bobert Scott, of whose 
kindness to his nephew some particulars are given in the 
Ashestiel fragment, and more will occur hereafter. 
Another son, Thomas, followed the profession of his 
father with ability, and retired in old age upon a hand- 
some independence, acquired by his industrious exertions. 
He was twice married, — first to his near rektion, a 
daughter of Baebum; and secondly to Miss Butherford 
of Know-South, the estate of which respectable family is 
now possessed by his son Charles Scott, an amiable and 


63 gentleman, who was alway. a special favor- 
rte with h,s eminent kiasnum. The death of Thomas 
Soott is thus recorded in one of the MS. notes on his 
"i^". °™ ""Py of «» HaUburton MemoriaU:- 
The said Thomas Scott died at Monklaw, near Jed 
bnrgh, at two of fte clock. 27th January. 1823, inX 
90U. year of h.s We, and fuUy possessed of all hi^ fae^ 
taes. He read t.11 nearly the year before his deat. , and 
lieing a great musician on thi Scotch pipes, had. when 
on his deathbed, a favorite pkyed oVer tohim by 
lus son James, that he might be sure he left him in fuU 
po.s«,s.on of It. After hearing it, he hummed it over 
Himself, and corrected it in several of the notes The 
air was diat caUed Sour Plums in Galashiels. When 
barks and other tonics were given him during his last 
illness, he privately spat them into his handkerchief 
saymg, as he had lived all his life without taking doctor's 
arugs. he wished to die without doing so." 

I visited this old man two years before his death, in 
company with Sir Walter, and fJiought him about the 
m<Mt venerable figure I had ever set my eyes on — taU 
and erect, with long flowing tresses of the most silvery 
whiteness, and stockings rolled up over his knees, after 
fte fashion of tiree generations back. He sat reading 
his Bible without spectacles, and did not. for a moment, 
perceive that any one had entered his room, but on recog- 
nizing his nephew he rose, with cordial ahiority, kissine 
hun on both cheeks, and eiclahning. "God bless thee! 
Walter, my man! thou hast risen to be great, but thou 
wast always good." His remarks were lively and saga- 
oious, and delivered with a touch of that humor which 
seems to have been shared by most of the famUy. He 
had the air and manner of an ancient gentleman, and 
must in his day have been eminently handsome. I saw 
more than once, about tie same period, this respectable 
man 8 sister, who had married her cousin Walter. Laird 
of Baeburn - thus adding a new lint to the closeness of 



the famJy connection. She also must have been, in her 
youth, remarkable for personal attractions; as it was. 
she dwells on my memory as tho perfect picture of an old 
Scotch lady, with a great deal of simple dignity in her 
bearmg, but with the softest eye, and the sweetest voice, 
and a charm of meekness and gentleness about every look 
and expression; aU which contrasted strikingly enough 
with the stem dry aspect and manners of her husband, 
a right descendant of the moss-troopers of Harden, who 
never seemed at his ease but on horseback, and continued 
to be the boldest fox-hunter of the district, even to the 
verge of eighty. The poet's aunt spoke her native Ian- 
gn^e pure and undiluted, but without the slightest tincture 
of that vulgarity which now seems ahnost unavoidable in 
the oral use of a dialect so long banished from courts, and 
which has not been avoided by any modem writer who 
has ventured to mtroduce it, with the exception of Scott, 
md I may add, speaking generally, of Bums. Lady 
^burn, as she was universally styled, may be nmnbered 
wth those friends of early days whom her nephew ha, 
aUuded to in one of his prefaces, as preserving what we 
may fancy to have been the old Scoteh of Holyrood. 
V,, ^ P^f^""^ "Woh I have been setting down may 
help English readers to form some notion of the structure 
of society in those southern districts of Scotland. When 
SatoheDs wrote, he boasted that Buccleuch c ild summon 
to h« banner one hundred lairds, all of his own name, 
with ten tioussmd more - landless men, but stiU of the 
same blood. The younger sons of these various lairds 
were through mMiy success-Ve generations, portioned off 
with fragments of the inboritauee, until such subdivision 
couH be earned no farther, and then the cadet, of neces- 
sity, either adopted the profession of arms, in some for- 
eign service very frequently, or became a cultivator on 
the estate of his own elder brother, of the ch-oitain of 
hia branch, or of the great chief and patriarchal pi,, 
tector of the whole clan. UatU the commerce of Eng- 


1 ii 

^d and, above aII *u ... ^5 

«» Scotch, thi. .y.tem rf^i^r *" .""o o^t^rprU,7i 
rtJl remained in fo3 to. «'.~''*»"«d entire. It 

t^t .t „ far fe,^ being aboI^'S'' ^ "^ Wpy to «y, 
d«y. It was a syatem wLhT j *''*■' at the present 
•^If^" of the riarlp^f>'^'',tog«ther the S 
«»d confidence: the S^ ? "" """"^ "* "-utu^ov^ 
equally ren.en.u.^d of^ T^'^l'y "^ Ji-eage wL 
count for more than Crenl^ 't"\ '^^ '»"<"«'"« co!ld 
kuu rather a, a father T^ n' *!''^*' "'o «garded 
"ho ovred hi8 superi«.iLT '"'" ''"t*^'. than™ 
"ho. on fit occaXr'L ™" ''"^'''' """^ '''^ ^^« 

-d ^-^witaii's'iri^^xr'' **"-' "^ "■«^- 

teut and satisfaction toZ^^^^'rV^ ^act with con- 
"h.ehhefoundnoonedisSe^'^i^ labors of a vocation 
frem h.s gentle blood. Sll ^''"^'' ^ derogating 
"e™. held ti.e natn«U a^t^'"""-?' '* delusion^ 
taught the poor „Zl ST h ,° "?*«» in check! 
he had nothing to blush Z ^ "' '° ^^»ous povert^ 
heiug of the colZnit thf lllf '^"'.'^ »-«' the^h^ 
humanity. "^ "»« gracious spirit of a primitive 

ever adopted a town life "r*^' i?. "^ the family th[t 
classed among the leaded ZJ^^"'^ '''»™'°ff to be 
, the hjw, however, con&^^T'"''- «" branch of 
Seously prosecuted without!^! •"'^ ^^' ^ advanta- 
■^-^try; hi, ^ were t^'r^!^?'7f "^-nections in Z 
service to hnn in h^^^^^^""* to be of much 
rr-idingly. His pref3','"l*''^y "ere cultivated 
and Ettrict Forest VreTv ^■"' *° B»hurghshbe 
queut, and though l^„ "^''""» «*«. 'e?y f™ 
tmct^re of romaT^ "^^ rPpof to hav^ „y 



tnot, with a oertain reluctant flavor of tho old feelingi 
md prejudices of the Borderer. I hare littie to addto 
Sir Walter's short and respectful notice of his father 
except that I have heard it confirmed by the testimony 
of many less partial observers. According to every 
account, he was a most just, honorable, conscientious 
man; only too high of spirit for some parts of his busi- 
ness. He passed from the cradle to the grave," says a 
surviving relation, "without making an enemy or losing 
a friend. He was a most affectionate parent, and if he 
discouraged, rather than otherwise, his son's early devo- 
tion to the pursuits which led him to the height of liter- 
aiy emmence, it was only because he did not understand 
what such things meant, and considered it his duly to 
keep his young man to that path in which good sense and 
industry might, humanly speaking, be thought sure of 

Sir Walter's mother was short of stature, and by no 
means comely, at least after the days of her early youth. 
She had received, as became the daughter of an emi- 
nently learned physician, the best sort of education then 
bestowed on young gentlewomen in Scotland. The poet, 
speaking of Mrs. EuphemU Sinclair, the mistress of the 
school at which his mother was reared, to the ingenious 
local antiquary, Mr. Bobert Chambers, said that "she 
must have been possessed of uncommon talents for educa- 
tion, as all her young ladies were, in after-life, fond of 
reading, wrote and spelled admirably, were well ac- 
quainted with history and the belles-lettres, without neg- 
lecting the more homely duties of the needle and ac- 
compt book; and perfectly well-bred in society." Mr 
Chambers adds: "Sir W. further communicated that his 
mother, and many others of Mrs. Sinclair's pupils, were 
sent afterwards to he finished off by the Honorable Mrs. 
Ogdvie, a lady who trained her young friends to a style 
of manners which would now be considered intolerably 
stiff. Such was the effect of this early training upon the 

A/ltr tkt fiaintiHg at Abboi^ord 

if! .1 



J 1 

- SkwI a! au'ic!, uu 
■i":il ai.'i.ii. ■ ■\i. 

^'f sn ''mi- 

If I 


mind of M«. Scott, ^t mn when .h. .pproMhed her 
^btlrth ,e«. .he look u much o«, to i^oid touching 
h» ch«r with her Uok m if .he hirf .tiU been unde' 

S! 1^ 2' '''■.*^- OPJ"""' The phytiognomy of 
the poet bore, U their portrait, may bi t^t-jf no 
iwembUnoe to either of hi. parent*. 

Mr. Scott WM nearly thirty year, of age when he mar. 
mfl n •"."J'"™"' »»™ to him between 1759 uid 
1766, aU perished in infancy.' A .u.picion that the 

M^r T 1 ??" ?^^ ^y"'' ^ •»•■' ""favorable 
to the health of hi. family wa. the motive that induced 
hm to ren,^ to the hou«. which he ever afterward, 
cocupied m George'. Square.' Thi. removal took place 
•hortly after the poef. birth; and the chUdren bom ,ub. 
«quently were in general healthy. Of . family of 
twelve, of whom .,x lived to maturity, not one now .nr- 

wl,, V » ""I^ *'■*"' '"*' ^'^^f, except Sir 
W^ter hmi«U, and hi. next and dearest brother, Thoma. 

q.!^t v^' *""* •"" ~'»ei''»»e» of existence dated from 
Sudy-Knowe, and how deep and indelible wa. the im- 
presjion which it. romantic localities had left on hi. im- 
^tion, I need not remind the readers of Marmion and 
The Eve of St. John. On the summit of the Crags 

Jr^ ?*"'^"v ^'««"'°" •/ **«*»,», Td. H. pp. m-131. Tk. 

■ Id Sir WJt..Sootfi d«k, .ftor hi. dwth, thm wu t«mi > B«l. 

" 1. Amu Sootl, bora Uwch 10, 1759. 
2. Robert Soott, bora Aogiut 22, 1780. 

5. John Soott, bom Xorembor 28, 1761. 
4. Robert Soott, bom June 7, 1763. 

6. Jeu Soott, bom ttuch 27, 1765. 

„ *• Walter Soott, bora Aogrtut 80, 1766. 

aJ^^ZS!^-'*'^' "^ ""^ "* "^ '"-°' '"^y w" bora au «m. 

'[No. 25.] 

I. (if 


which omhug th* farmhooM itandi the rninad towtr of 
SmiilhohiM, tha Mene of that fine bolhu!; ud the view 
from thence take* in a wide ezpanie of the di'trict in 
which, ai baa been truly aaid, every field ha* iti battle, 
and erery rivulet iti wng : — 

" Tku ladj itt la nnnfd laoed. 
Looked oTu hill Bad nlu, 
Cor TvMd'i fair flood, aad Ibitou'f wood, 
Ami all dowa TirkKdab." — 

Mertoun, the principal leat of the Harden family, with 
it« noble groveej nearly in front of it, acrou the Tweed, 
Le»8udden, the comparatively imall but still venerable 
and atately abode ol the Lairde of Raebnm; and the 
hoary Abbey of Dryburfch, surrounded with yew-trees ai 
ancient as itself, seem to lie almost below the feet of the 
spectator. Opposite him rise the purple peaks of Eildon, 
the traditional scene of Thomas the Rhymer's interview 
with the Queen of Faerie; behind are the blasted peel 
which the seer of Ercildoune himself inhabited, " the 
Broom of the Cowdenknowea," the pastoral vaUey of the 
Leader, and the bleak wilderness of Lammermoor. To 
the eastward, the desoUte grandeur of Hume Castle 
brerks the horizon, as the eye travels towards the range 
of tLB Cheviot. A few miles westward, Melrose, "like 
some tall rook with lichens grey," appears clasped amid«t 
the windings of the Tweed; and the distance presents laa 
serrated mountains of the Gala, the Ettriok, and the 
Yarrow, all famous in song. Such were the objects that 
had painted the earliest images on the eye of the last and 
greatest of the Border Minstrels. 

As his memory reached to an earlier period of child- 
hood than that of almost any other person, so assuredly 
no poet has given to the world a picture of the dawning 
feelings of life and genius, at once so simple, so beauti- 
ful, and BO complete, as that of his epistle to William 
Erskine, the chief literary confidant and counsellor of his 
prime of manhood. 


* WkMlMt u Inpdn llut kw bink 
»« « Ik. Wm, i«k» « «,u^ 
OiM. rt* «, fa.ita^ ^ ^ 


M kaUl, focMd In .ulj d.;, 

Howt'm dirind, iu fonx ooafaM 

»"U. with d«ipotl. ..., th. !,«.«. 

AM dnp 0, OB bj Ti,wl« ak.1^ 

WWU iMtaMd «aoa piMd u Tala. . 

TiM, wbU. I .p. n, „«,„ ^j 

W tata Hut okMmd „, ,„ , .|,uj 

5™ """Wk Hay b., .UU .itk th. eblm. 

HMon Um tbiio(liti of ouly tiiM 

AjxI fMltajri roiu'd U lif.'i am day, 

Glow in tlu liiH and piompt Um Ux 

^•n ri» tbo. cn^, u^l monnUln town 

Wbi«h chnrmd n,y f„o,'. wk.ntai l»„. 

"WM > buren Heno ^id wild 

Whor. nnkid oliHi w«» ndol; piM : 

But mr and anon brtWMa 

I*J wlwt tntia of bnUaat man i 

And well tho loool; infant knaw 

itwowa wb«r» tli. waU-Howor »»», 

And bonoj-ncUa lorad to orawl 

Up tka low en( and niin'd wall. 

I doam'd mob nooka tlio awaataat akada 

Tka aan in aU ita rannd anmjad i 

And atill I tbon(kt tkal ahattaiod lowar 

Tka mifktlaat work of knman powar, 

And marralM aa tka a^ad Und, 

Witk aona atiaag. tala bawilok'd my mind, 

Of tonjan wko, with kaadloag foroa, 

Down fiom tkat alnnxtk bad apnrr'd tbair knw, 

Tkair lontkorn lapino to nnaw, 

Far in tka distant Ckanota Una, 

And homa ratnminf , flll'd tba hall 

Witk roTel, waaaail-ront, and brawl. 

Metbonght that atiU with tmmp and elans 

Tha fataway'a brokan arohaa rang ; 

Uethoogbt grim featoraa, aeam'd with lean, 

Olarad through the windowa' maty bara ; 

And ever, by the winter hearth, 

Old tales I heard of woe or mirth. 

Of loTei.' •lights, of ladies' charms. 

Of witches' spells, of warrion* arma — 

Of patriot battles won of old 

By Wallaoa Wight and Bmoa the Bold— 



li' ' i 


Of Uter fi«ldl of feod and fight, 

When, pouring from their Bighlnnd height, 

The Scottish clau, in headlong away, 

Had swept the ecarlet ranks away. 

While stretched at length npon the floor, 

Again I fought each combat o'er. 

Pebbles and shells, in order laid. 

The mimic ranks of war displayed. 

And onward still the Scottish Lion bore, » 

And still the scattered Sonthron fled before." l 

There are still living in that neighborhood two old 
women who were in the domestic service of Sandy- 
Knowe when the lame child was brought thither in the 
third year of his age. One of them, Tibby Hunter, 
remembers his coming well; and that "he was a sweet- 
tempered bairn, a darling with all about the house." 
The young ewe-milkers delighted, she says, to carry him 
about on their backs among the crags; and he was "very 
gleg (quick) at the uptake, and soon kenned every sheep 
and lamb by headmark as well as any of them." His 
great pleasure, however, was in the society of the "aged 
hind," recorded in the epistle to Erskine. "Auld Sandy 
Ormistoun," called, from the most dignified part of his 
function, "the Cow-bailie," had the chief superintendence 
of the flocks that browsed upon "the velvet tufts of love- 
liest green." It the child saw him in the morning, he 
could not be satisfied unless the old man would set him 
astride on his shoulder, and take him to keep him com- 
pany as he lay watching his charge. 

" Here was poetic impulse given 
By the green hill and clear blue heaTan." 

The Cow-bailie blew a particular note on his whistle, 
which signified to the maid-servants in the house below 
when the little boy wished to be carried home again. He 
told his friend, Mr. Skene of Bubislaw, when spending 
a summer day in his old age among these well-remem- 
bered crags, that he delighted to roll about on the grass 
all day long in the midst of the flock, and that "the sort 

> [Pceticoj Workt, Cambridge Edition, p. 108.] 



of fellowship he thus formed with the she. j. ..,1 lamb, 
b^ impressed his mind with a degree of affe^U JdTl. 
ing towards them which had lasted throughout l.,V> 
^IT fl °\^" '^"°e been forgotL one day 
among the knol s when a thunderstorm Lne „„; and 
h« aunt suddenly recoUecting his situation, and ruining 
out to bnng hjm home, is said to have found him ly nf 
■ '"«=''' "'^PP'^g W" hands at the lightning, ^f 

1 tmd the followmg marginal note on his copy of Allan 
Eamsay s Tea-Table Miscellany (edition 1724) "ThS 
book belonged to my grandfather, Robert Scott aud out 
«ai tlT ,??^' "ffdy-ute by heart befor^ I couW 
read the ballad myself. It was the first poem I ever 
W-the last I shall ever forget." A^ording to 
Tibby Hunter, he was not particularly fond of his iLk 
embracmg every pretext for joining his friend the Cow! 

at t. ° V ^?"l "l".' "*'''' J^-'-y ''^^ « g^-d hand 

braw7 " f a" *" ";' •■"' ""^ *■? '»^S'««' ^^ «^« to read 
brawly^ i An early acquaintance of a higher class 
Mrs Duncan, the wife of the present exceUef t min sto 
rfMertoun, informs me, that though she was younger 
than Sir Walter, she has a dim remembrance of the in- 
^^or of Sandy-Knowe_"01d Mrs. Scott sitting wS. 
her spmnmg-wheel, at one side of the fire, in a clean 
0^^, parlor; the grandfather, a good deal fkiled, i^ hU 
elbow^ha« opposite; and the little boy lying on Z 
^rpet, at the old man's feet, listening L the Bibk, or 
whatever good book Miss Jenny was reading to them ''^ 





Eobert Seott died before his grandson was four years 
of age; and I heard him mention when he was an old 
man that he distinctly remembered the writing and seal- 
ing of the funeral letters, and all the ceremonial of the 
melancholy procession as it left Sandy-Knowe. I shall 
conclude my notices of the residence at Sandy-Knowe 
with observing that in Sir Walter's account of the 
friendly clergyman who so often sat at his grandfather's 
fireside, we cannot fail to trace many features of the se- 
cluded divine in the novel of St. Ronan's Well. 

I have nothing to add t» what he has told us of that 
excursion to England which interrupted his residence at 
Sandy-Knowe for about a twelvemonth, except that I 
had often been astonished, long before I read his auto- 
biographic fragment, with the minute recollection he 
seemed to possess of all the striking features of the city 
of Bath, which he had never seen again since he quitted 
It before he was six years of age. He hus himself 
alluded, in his Memoir, to the lively recollection he 
retained of his first visit tw the theatre, to which his 
Uncle Eobert carried him to witness a representation of 
As You Like It. In his reviewal of the Life of John 
Kemble, written in 1826, he has recorded that impres- 
sion more fully, and in terms so striking, that I must 
copy them in this place : — 

« "There are few things which those gifted with any degree of 
imagination recollect with a sense of more anxious and mysteri- 
ous delight than the first dramatic representation which they 
have witnessed. The nnusual form of the house, filled with such 

mthont cpamming the idphabet and gramnur down the poor child'i Um»t. 
I omool at thia moment teU how op when I learned to read, but it waa 
by fita and enatchee, aa one annt op another in the old mmble-tnmble 
fannhonaea oould give me a leaion, and I am anre it increaaad my loTe 
and habit o( reading more than the aiiateritiea of a iehool oonld haye 
done. I gave trouble, I believe, in wiahing to be taught, and in leU-de- 
fenoo gpaduaUy acquired the myatopy myself. Johnnie ia infirm a Uttle 
though notiomuch«)aiIwaa,aud often he haa bpought back to my recol- 
leobon the days of my own childhood. I hope he wiU be twice any good 
that waa m me, with len cueleiaoea." - Lang'. Uf, ^ Lxthart, toL i 
pf ouTtJ 




group, of crowded spectator., themselTe. forming an extrao> 
^d^n" """^ '^^ "^^^ "^ '^y*^' «»«»!». "hoae dusky 

ofdaT 17 h'"* ^•'"'^ = J*-™ ">' "SH hrili-nt aa that 
01 day, then the music, which, in itself a treat sufficient in 
.™ry other s tuation, our inexperience mistake, for tht^ 
M ^^r" '» -'"7 ■' tten the slow rise of the shadowy c J 
t«n, isclosmg, as ,f by actual magic, a new land, withVooda, 
and mountams and Ukes, lighted, it seems to u , by aS 
«m and .nhabited by a race of beings different from^ouLCt, 
wW Unguage .spoet^,, _ whose dress, demeanor, and s 'n 
t.ment. seem something supenmtural, _ and whose wh;ie actbn. 
and d scourse are calcukted not for the ordinary tone of eve™! 

- to melt llV "^ "'""«" "■"• ■"''™ ^^"^'^ fe^l'IT' 

fte m^ln "'"'"'' T^"'' "i* terror, astonish with 
fte marveUoo., or convulse with irresistible laughter :- all 
ttese wonders stamp indelible impressions on the memo^ 

^rth^r T' '^' """'' P^'P'''' "» between a, enT 

^ttte scene .s but a pUything, and an interest which ever 

^iX 7T^ "" ""*° I '^''"" ^^"^ ""' "-' which so 

1./ ''"'■"f ' »^''' »" ""iti-g in the highest degree, ^n 
ftere are the burst, of applause, like distant thunlTand Ae 

Kre«n of dehght to a sound so commanding. All thi,, and 
much, much more, i, fresh in our memory, although, whence 

not yet left It is now a long while since ; yet we have not 
pawed many hours of such unmixed delight, and we still rl 

k^ which we felt that the mu.ic would again «,und, the 
™«.c curtain once more arise, and the enchanting drea.^ rJ 

ftZir ' n 1°, "'»"»^»' -ith which we iLked upon 
fte apathy of the elder part of our company, who, having ^e 
means, did not spend eveor evening in thVSeatre." ^ 

Probably it was this performance that first tempted 
' maattantim Pnm Worh, vol xi. p. 164. 




him to open the page of Shakespeare. Before he returned 
to Sandy-Knowe, assuredly, notwithstanding the modest 
language, of his autohiography, the progress which had 
been made in his inteUectoal education was extraor- 
dinary; and it is impossible to doubt that his hitherto 
almost sole tutoress, Miss Jenny Scott, must have been 
a woman of tastes and acquirements very far above what 
could have been often found among Scotch ladies, of any 
but the highest class at least, in that day. In the winter 
of 1777, she asd her charge spent some few weeks — not 

happy weeks, the Memoir hints them to have been 

in George's Square, Edinburgh; and it so happened, 
that during this little interval, Mr. and Mrs. Soott re- 
ceived in their domestic circle a guest capable of appre- 
ciating, and, fortunately for us, of recording in a very 
striking manner the remarkable development of young 
Walter's faculties. Mrs. Cockbum, mentioned by him 
in his Memoir as the authoress of the modern Flowers 
of the Forest, bom a Rutherford, of Faimalie, in Sel- 
kirkshire, was distantly related to the poet's mother, 
with whom she had through life been in habits of ulti- 
mate friendship. This accomplished woman was staying 
at Bavelston in the vicinity oi Edinburgh, a seat of the 
Keiths of Dunnottar, nearly -.elated to Mrs. Scott, and to 
herself. With some of that family she spent an evening 
in George's Square. She chanced to be writing next day 
to^ Dr. Dougks, the well-known and much resjisctad 
minister of her native parish, Galashiels; and her letter, 
of which the Doctor's son has kindly given me a copy, 
contains the following passage : 

"Edinbm-i, S«tiiKl»y night, 16th of ' the gloomy month Then the 
people of EngUnd hmag and ^own themeelvei.' 

... "I last night supped in Mr. Walter Scott's. He has 
the most eitraordinary genius of a boy I ever saw. He was 
reading a poem to his mother when 1 went in. I made him 
read on ; it was the description of a shipwreck. His passion 
rose with the storm. He Ufted his eyes and hands. ' There 's 




^e mMt gone, «,y, he ; ' opwh it goe. I - they will aU periah ! 
After his agiUhon, he turn, to me. ' That i, too meCholy ,' 
«y8 hei I had better read you Mmething more amnsinK.' I 
preferred a httle chat, and aeked hi» opinion of MUton and 
oAer books ho was reading, whi.h Se gave me wonderfully. 
One of h.8 observations was, 'How ,Uange it is that Adam, 
just new come mto the world, should know everything _ that 
must be the poet's fancy,' says he. But when he was told he 
was created perfect by God, he instantly yielded. When taken 
to bed kst mght, he told his aunt he liked that ladv. 'What 
lady? says she. '^Vhy, Mrs. Cockburn, for I thiik she is a 
virtuoso hke myself.' ' Dear Walter,' says Amit Jemiy, ' what 
« a virtuoso .' ' ' Don't ye know ? Why, it 's one who wishes 
and wiU know everything." - Now, sir, you wiU think this a 
ve^ s% story. Pray, what age do you suppose this boy to 
be I' Name it now, before I teU you. Why, twelve or four- 
teen. No such thing; he is not quite six years old." He has 
a lame leg, for which he was a year at Bath, and has acquired 
the perfect Enghsh accent, which he has not lost since he came 
and he reads hke a Garrick. Yon will allow this an uncommon 
exotic" "-uiuu 

Some partieukrs in Mrs. Cockburn's account appear 
considerably at variance with what Sir Walter has told 
us respecting his own boyish proficiency — especially in 
the article of pronunciation. On that last head, how- 
ever, Mrs Cockburn was not, probably, a very accurate 
judge; all that can be said is, that if at this early period 
he had acquired anything which could be justly described 

• ft maj.^ my K«fc, lo r«»U, b, tie side of Scott's ewly defim. 
hon of . ,.rtuo.„,» the «„«, h, wUoh Ako-id, Impidnhri that ch™o- 
rf iro«riJ?!!l """^ ™"'° '"• '•"""P""- of t. Author 

" He knew the Tuiooi modei rf todent tlmee, 
Their Kits and fMhione of e»ch ruintu ff^mt ; 
^Ir wedding!, funeral*, punlibraeDta of crimea ; 
Tlieir itrength, their learning eke, and rarltlM. 
01 old habUlmt-iit, each lort and die, 
Male, (emalj, :.igh and low, to him were known ; 
Each gladiator's dtw%, and atage diagulae, 
With learned clerkly phraaa be ooold hare abown." 



^T. 6 

t 'i 

as an English accent, he soon lost, and never again re- 
covered, what he had thus gained from his short residence 
at Bath. In after-life his pronunciation of words, con- 
sidered separately, was seldom much different from that 
of a well-educated Englishman of his time; but he used 
many words in a sense which belonged to Scotland, not 
to England, and the tone and accent remained broadly 
Scotch, though, unless in the hurr, which no doubt 
smacked of the country bordering on Northumberland, 
there was no prmincial peculiarity about his utterance. 
He had strong powers of mimicry — could talk with a 
peasant quite in his own style, and frequently in general 
society introduced rustte patoia, northern, southern, or 
midland, with great truth and effect; but these things 
were inlmd dramatically, or playfully, upon his narra- 
tive. His exquisite taste in this matter was not less 
remarkable in his conversation than in the prose of his 
Scotch novels. 

Another lady, nearly connected with the Keiths of 
Eavelston, has a lively recollection of young Walter, 
when paying a visit much about the same period to his 
kmd relation,' the mistress of that picturesque old man- 
sion, which furnished him in after-days with many of the 
features of his Tully-Veohm, and whose venerable gar- 
dens, with their massive hedges of yew and holly, he 
always considered as the ideal of the art. The lady, 
whose letter I have now before me, says she distinctly 
remembers the sickly boy sitting at the gate of the house 
with his attendant, when a poor mendicant approached, 
old and woe-begone, to claim the charity which none 
asked for in vain at Eavelston. When the man was 
retiring, the servant remarked to Walter that he ought 
to be thankful to Providence for having placed him 
above the want and misery he had been contemplating. 
The child looked up with a half -wistful, half-incredulous 

t,- ' ^ ^'"'' "* •'»»«'*•» ""• Ix"" • Swinton of Siriiitoii, sod lUtor to 
oir Walter's maternal gnuidmotlior. 




expression, and said, ''Homer was a begqarl" "How 
do you know that? " said the other. " rt'hy, don't you 
remember," answered the little virtuoso, "that 

' SeTsn Roman oitiei itmn for Honwr dud, 
Through which the MTing Homer begged hii bnad ? ' " 

The lady smUed at the "Soman cities," — but already 

'* Each bUnk in faithlen memory Toid 
The poet's glowing thought lupplied." 

Itwia in this same year, 1777, that he spent some time 
at Prestonpans; made his first acqiuiintance with George 
Constable, the original of his Monkbarns; explored the 
field where Colonel Gardiner received his death-wound, 
under the learned guidance of Dalgetty; and marked the 
spot "where the grass long grew rank and green, distin- 
guishing it from the rest of the field," » above the grave 
of poor Balmawhapple. 

His Uncle Thomas, whom I have described as I saw 
him in extreme old age at Monfclaw, had the manage- 
ment of the farm affaire at Sandy-Knowe, when Walter 
returned thither from Prestonpans; he was a kind-hearted 
man, and very fond of the child. Appaaring on his 
return somewhat strengthened, his uncle promoted him 
from the Cow-bailie's shoulder to a dwarf of the Shet- 
land race, not so Urge as many a Newfoundland dog. 
This creature walked freely into the house, and was 
regularly fed from the boy's hand. He soon learned to 
sit her well, and often alarmed Aunt Jenny, by cantering 
over the rough places about the tower. In the evening 
of his life, when he had a grandchild afflicted with an 
infirmity akin to his own, he provided him with a little 
mare of the same breed, and gave her the name of Ma- 
rion, in memory of this early favorite, 
^ fToMrley, chap. xlviL note. 





The report of Walter's progress in horsemanship 
probably reminded his father that it was time he should 
b« learning other things beyond the department either of 
Aunt Jenny or Uncle Thomas, and after a few months he 
was recalled to Edinburgh. But extraordinary as was 
the progress he had by this time made in that self-educa- 
tion which alone is of primary consequence to spirits of 
his order, he was found too deficient in lesser matters to 
be at once entered in the High School. Probably his 
mother dreaded, and deferred as long as she could, the 
day when he should be exposed to the rude collision of 
a crowd of boys. At all events he was placed first in a 
little private school kept by one Leechman in Bristo 
Port; and then, that experiment not answering expecta- 
tion, under the domestic tutorage of Mr. James French, 
afterwards minister of East Kilbride in Lanarkshire. 
This respectable man considered him fit to join Luke 
Eraser's class in October, 1778. 

His own account of his progress at this excellent semi- 
nary is, on the whole, veiy similar to what I have re- 
ceived from some of his surviving schoolfellows. His 
quick apprehension and powerful memory enabled him, 
at little cost of labor, to perform the usual routine of 
tasks, in such a manner as to keep him generally "in a 
decent place" (so he once expressed it to Mr. Skene) 
"about the middle of the class; with which," be oontin- 


"^' '2 Z" ^}f '""*' oontentod, that it chanced to be 
near the Are. 1 Mr. Fnuer wa., I believe, more zealous 
m enforcing attention to the technioalitie of m-miniar, 
than to excite curiosity about historical farS, or imajri- 
nation (» strain after the flights of a poet. There is no 
eyidence that Scott, though he speaks of him as his "kin.l 
master, in remembrance probably of sympathy for his 
physical infirmities, ever attracted his special notice with 
reference to scholarship; but Adam, the Rector, into 
whose class he passed in October, 1782, was, as his situ- 
ation demanded, a teacher of a more liberal caste; and 
though never, even under his guidance, did Walter fix 
and concentrate his ambition so as to maintain an emi- 
nent place, still the vivacity of his talents was observed 
and the readiness of his memory in particular was so 
often displayed that (as Mr. Irving, his chosen friend 
of that day, mforms me) the Doctor "would constantly 
refer to him for dates, the particulars of battles, and 
other remarkable events aUuded to in Horace, or what- 
ever author the boys were reading, and used to call him 
the histori^ of the class." No one who has read, as few 
have not. Dr. Adam's interesting work on I, man An- 
tiquities wiU doubt the author's capacity for stimulatine 
such a mind as young Scott's. 

He speaks of himself as occasionally "gUncing like a 
meteor from the bottom to the top of the form." His 
schoolfellow, Mr. Claud Russell, remembers that he once 
made a great leap in consequence of the stupidity of 
some laggard on what is caUed the duW, (dolt's) bench, 
who being asked, on boggling at cnm, "what part of 
speech IS mth f " answered, "a substantive.- The Rec- 
tor, rfter a moment's pause, thought it worth while to ask 
his dux— 'Is wUh ever a substantive?" but all were 

■ Aocorduig to Mr. Irriss'. MMUMtloiH, Scott'. pl.m,oft.r th. Art 
(Lord BMon) Kcmd ; ud the pnwot I^rd MelTille Mrd. " 



silent until the quet; reaohed Soott, then near the bottom 
of the olui,who initantly responded by quoting a versa of 
the book of Judges: — "And Samson said unto Delilah, 
If they bind me with seven green mtht that were never 
dried, then shall I be weak, and as another man."' 
Another upward movement, aaoomnlished in a less land- 
able manner, but still one strikingly illustrative of his 
ingenious resources, I am enabled to preserve through 
the kindness of a brother poet and esteemed friend, to 
whom Sir Walter himself communicated it in the melan- 
choly twilight of his bright day. 

Mr. Rogers says — "Sitting one day alone with him 
in your house, in the Regent's Park — (it was the day 
but one before he left it to embark at Portsmouth for 
Malta) — I led him, among other ttirgs, to tell me once 
again a story of himself, which he I -.a formerly told me, 
and which I had often wished to recover. When I re- 
turned home, I wrote it down, as nearly as I could, in 
his own words; and here they are. The subject is an 
achievement worthy of Ulysses himself, and such as 
many of hir schoolfellows oould, no doubt, have related 
of him ; but I fear I have done it no justice, though the 
story is so very characteristic that it should not be lost. 
The inimitable manner in which he told it — the glance 
of the eye, the turn of the head, and the light that played 
over his faded features, as, one by one, the circumstances 
came back to him, accompanied by a thousand boyish 
feelings, that had slept perhaps for years — there is 1.0 
language, not even his own, could convey to you; but you 
can supply then). Would that others could do so, who 
bad not the good fortune to know him I — The memoran- 
dum (Friday, October 21, 1831) is as follows: — 

"There was a boy in my class at school, who stood 
always at the top,' nor could I with all my efforts sup- 

* Chap. iTi. TeiH 7. 

'Mr. hying molinei to think that this incident miut hare ooaured 
during Soott'e attendanoe on Lnk« Fraser, not after he went ♦:* Dr. Adam ; 
and he alio saepecta that the hoy referred to sat at the top, not of tlie 
etaUy hot of Scott'a own bench or diriaion of the class. 


pJMt turn. Day ome after day, and atiU he kept hi. 

pUoe, do what I would; till at length I obwrved that. 

when a question was asked him, he always fumbled with 

his fingers at a particular button in the lower part of his 

waistcoat. To remove it, therefore, became expedient in 

my eyes; and m an evU moment it was removed with a 

knife. Great was my anxiety to know the success of my 

measure; and it succeeded too weU. When the boy wu 

again questioned, his fingers sought again for the button. 

but It was not to be found. In his distress he looked 

down for itj it was to be seen no more than to be felt. 

He stood confounded, and I took possession of his pkce- 

nor did he ever recover it, or ever, I believe, suspect who 

was the author of his wrong. Often in after-life has the 

sight of him smote me as I passed by him; and often 

have I resolved to make him some reparation; but it 

ended m good resolutions. Though I never renewed mv 

acquaintance with him, I often saw him, for he filled 

some inferior office in one of the courts of Uw at Edin- 

burgh. Poor feUowI I believe he is dead; he took early 

to drinking." ' 

The autobiography tells us that his translations in 
verse from Horace and Virgil were often approved by 
Ut. Adam. One of these little pieces, written in a weak 
boyish scrawl, within pencilled marks stiU visible, had 
been carefully preserved by hU mother; it was found 
folded up m a cover inscribed by the old lady— "Jft, 
Walter's f rat lines, 1782." 

" In awful miM ^tna thnodan nigh. 
And unda in pitcliy wliirlwinda to tlie tkj 
Black clonda of amoka, whidi, atUl sa tba; aapira, 
From tlieip dark aidea then buiata tho glowing Sti t 
At other timea huge balla of fin are toaa'd, 
That lick the atan, and in the amoka an Int : 
Sometimea the mount, with vaat eonnilaiona toni, 
Emita huge rooka, which inatanti]' an boma 
With loud explcaiona to the atarrj akiea, 
^e stonea made Uqnid aa the huge maaa fiiea. 
Then back again with gnatep weight ncoila, 
Whila .a;tu» thundering from the botUun boUa." 



I gather (rom Mr. Irring that thex linei were oootid- 
ered a* the leoond beet let of thoie produced on the occa- 
sion — Colin Mackenxie of Portmore, through life Soott'a 
dear friend, carrying off the premium. 

In hit Introduction to the Lay, he alludoi to an ori- 
ginal effuaion of theie "whoolboy days," prompted by a 
thunderstorm, which he says "wan much approved of, 
nntil a malevolent critic sprung up in the shape of an 
apothecary's blue-buskined wife, who affirmed that my 
most sweet poetry was copied from an old magazine. I 
never" (he continues) "forgave the imputation, and even 
now I acknowledge aome resentment against the poor 
woman's memory. She indeed accused me unjustly 
when she said I had stolen my poem ready made ; but as 
I had, like most premature poets, copied all the words 
and ideas of which my verses coniiisted, she was so far 
right. I made one or two faint attempts at verse after 
I had undergone this sort of daw-plucking at the hands 
of the apothecary's wife, but some friend or other always 
advised me to put my verses into the fire; and, like 
Dorax in the pUy, I submitted, though with a swelling 
heart." These lines, and another short piece "On the 
Setting Sun," were lately found wrapped up in a cover, 
inscribed by Dr. Adam, "Walter Scott, July, 1783," 
and have been kindly transmitted to me by the gentle- 
man who discovered diem. 


" Load o'er my h«M] thonfrli awful thimden roll, 
And viTid %btni]igi flaah from pole to pole. 
Yet 't ia thy roioo, m; Ood, that bida them fly, 
Thy arm diivota thoia ligbtninga throngh the aky. 
Theo let tha good thy mighty tuune revere, 
And hardened ainnera tby joat Tengeaaoe fear." 


" Thoae evening elonda, that letting my 
And lieaateooa tinta, ierre to diaplay 

Their great Creator'a praiae ; 
Then let the ahort-lired thing call'd man, 


WkoK Ufa '• oompHaMi wilUa • nu, 
To ilim Ui koDugi nW. 

" W< <^im pnlH Um mnu. . oloada, 
Aid tiaU u t>; ud bold, 
fist Mldam Uiink apoo our Ood, 
Wko lii««l ihm olonda with (old t " I 

It miut, I think, be allowed that then linei, though 
of the claw to which the poet himaelf modeitly aacriliea 
them, and not to be compared with the efforts of Pope, 
•tai leu of Cowley at the name period, ihow, neverthe- 
lew, praiseworthy dexterity for a boy of twelve. 

The fragment telk ui that on the whole he was "more 
distinguished in the yarda (as the High School play- 
ground was called) than in the dat» ; " and this, not less 
than the intellectual advancement which years before 
had excited the admiration of Mrs. Cockbum, was the 
natural result of his lifelong "rebeUion against external 
circumstances." He might now with very slender exer- 
tion have been the dtix of his form; but if there was 
more difficulty, there was also more to whet his ambition, 
m the attempt to overcome the disadvantages of bia physi- 
cal misfortune, and in spite of them assert equality with 
the best of his compeers on the ground which they consid- 
ered as the true arena of honor. He told me, in walking 
through these same yardt forty years afterwards, that he 
had scarcely made his first appearance there, before some 
dispute arising, his opponent remarked that "there was 
no use to hargle-bargle with a cripple; " upon which he 
replied, that if he might fight mounted, he would try his 
hand with any one of his inches. "An elder boy," said 
he, "who had perhaps been chuckling over our friend 

' I im oUig>>d for tlMM Uttla mamoriaU to tha Bar. W, StaTan of Rol. 
toidam, Mthot of an intaiaaUng book CD tba bUtory of tbe bnnob of U» 
Sooteh C\am\ loag ..t.blij..d in Holbuid, and atUl ioopUbiog noder tba 
protMtioi. of tba anligbtened Korenunant of that coontrj. Mp. StaTaD 
lotmd tbam ,a tba couaa of hU raaent raaaaicbaa, uodertakeii witb a yiew to 
•om. mamom of tba Higb Sabool of Edinbiugh, at wbiob ba bad reoaiy«l 
ua own aatl; adocatiaii. 




Roderick Random when his mother supposed him to be in 
full cry after Pyrrhus or Poms, suggested that the two 
little tinUers might be lashed front to front upon a deal 
board — and — 'O gran bonta de' cavalier antichi ' — the 
proposal being forthwith agreed to, I received my first 
bloody nose in an attitude which would have entitled me, 
in the blessed days of personal cognizances, to assume 
that of a Honed seiant gules* My pugilistic trophies 
here," he continued, "were all the results of such Citings 
in banco." Considering his utter ignorance of fear, the 
strength of his chest and upper limbs, and that the scien- 
tific part of pugilism never fiouxished in Scotland, 1 dare 
say these trophies were not few. 

The mettle of the High School boys, however, was 
principally displayed elsewhere than in their own yards; 
and Sir Walter has furnished us with ample indications 
of the delight with which he found himself at length 
capable of rivalling others in such achievements as re- 
quired the exertion of active locomotive powers. Speak- 
ing of some scene of his infancy in one of his latest tales, 
he says — "Every step of the way aftor I have passed 
through the green already mentioned " (probably the 
Meadows behind George's Square) "has for me som>i- 
thing of an early remembrance. There is the stile at 
which I can recollect a cross child's-maid upbraiding me 
with my infirmity as she lifted me coarsely and carelessly 
over the fiinty steps which my brothers traversed with 
shout and bound. I remember the suppressed bitterness 
of the moment, and, conscious of my own infirmity, the 
envy with which I regarded the easy movements and elas- 
tic steps of my more happily formed brethren. Alas! " 
he adds, "these goodly barks have all perished in life's 
wide ocean, and only that which seemed, ai> the naval 
phrase goes, so little seaworthy, has reached the port 
when the tempest is over." How touching to compare 
with this passage that in which he records his pride in 
being found before he left the High School one of the 


boUest and nimblest climbers of "the kittle nine stanes," 
a passage of difficulty which might puzzle a chamois- 
hunter of the Alps, its steps, "few and far between," 
projected high in air from the precipitous black granite 
of the Castle rock. But climbing and fighting could 
sometimes be combined, and he has in almost the same 
page dwelt upon perhaps the most favorite of all these 
jnyenUe eiploita — namely, "the manning of the Cow- 
gate Port," — in the wawn when snowballs could be 
employed by the young scomers of discipline for the 
amioyance of the Town-guard. To understand fuUy the 
feelmgs of a High School boy of that day with regard to 
those ancient Highknders, who then formed the only 
police of the city of Edinburgh, the reader must consult 
the poetry of the scapegrace Fergusson. It was in defi- 
ance of their Loohaber axes that the Cowgate Port was 
manned— and many were the occasions on which its de- 
fence presented a formidable mimicry of warfare. "The 
gateway," Sir Walter adds, "is now demolished, and 
probably most of its garrison lie as low as the fortress! 
To reooUect that I, however naturaUy disqualified, was 
one of these juvenUe dreadnoughts, is a sad reflection for 
one who cannot now step over a brook without assist- 

I am unwilling to swell this narrative by extracts from 
Scott's published works, but there is one juvenile exploit 
told in the General Preface t» the Waverley Novels, 
which I must crave leave to introduce here in his own 
language, because it is essentially necessary to complete 
our notion of his schoolboy life and character. "It is 
well known," he says, "that there is little boxing at the 
Scottish schools. About forty or fifty years ago, how- 
ever, a far more dangerous mode of fighting, in parties 
or factions, was permitted in the streets of Edjiburgh, 
to the great disgrace of the police, and danger of the 
parties concerned. These parties were generally formed 
from the quarters of the t»wn in which the combatants 



resided, those of a particnUr square or district fighting 
against those of an adjoining one. Hence it happened 
that the children of the higher classes were often pitted 
against those of the lower, each taking their side accord- 
ing to the residence of their friends. So far as I recol- 
lect, however, it was muuingled either with feelings of 
democraey or aristocracy, or indeed with malice or ill- 
will of any kind towards the opposite party. In fact, it 
wag only a rough mode of play. Such contests were, 
however, maintained with great vigor with stones, and 
sticks, and fisticuffs, when one party dared to charge, 
and the other stood their ground. Of course, mischief 
sometimes happened; boys are said to have been killed 
at these bickers, as they were called, and serious acci- 
dents certainly took place, as many contemporaries can 
bear witness. 

"The author's father residing in George's Square, in 
the southern side of Edinburgh, the boys belonging to 
that family, with others in the square, were arranged into 
a sort of company, to which a lady of distinction pre- 
sented a handsome set of colors.^ Now, this company or 
regiment, as a matter of course, was engaged in weekly 
warfare with the boys inhabiting the Cross-causeway, 
Bristo-Street, the Potterrow — in short, the neighboring 
suburbs. These last were chiefly of the lower rank, but 
hardy loons, who threw stones to a hair's-breadth, and 
were very rugged antagonists at close quarters. The 
skirmish sometimes lasted for a whole evening, until one 
party or the other was victorious, when, if ours were suc- 
cessful, we drove the enemy to their quarters, and were 
usually chased back by the reinforcement of bigger lads 
who came to their assistance. If, on the contrary, we 
were pursued, as was often the case, into the precincts of 
our square, we were in our turn supported by our elder 
brothers, domestic servants, and similar auxiliaries. It 
followed, from our frequent opposition to each other, 
■ Tbb jmag patnaiMl wu tU Dao h m Coimten of Sotlurlud. 



that, though not knowing the namea of onr enemies, we 
were yet well acquainted with their appearance, and liad 
nicknames for the most remarkable of them. One very 
aotive and spirited boy might be considered as the prin- 
cipal leader in the cohort of the suburbs. He was, I 
suppose, thirteen or fourteen years old, finely made, tall, 
blue-eyed, with long fair hair, the very picture of a 
youthful Goth. This lad was always first in the charge, 
and last in the retreat — the Achilles at once and Aj'ai 
of the Cross-causeway. He was too formidable to us 
not to have a cognomen, and, like that of a knight of 
old, it was taken from the most remarkable part of his 
dress, being a pair of old green livery breeches, which 
was the principal part of his clothing; for, like Penta- 
polin, according to Don Quixote's account, Green-breeks, 
as we called him, always entered the battle with bare 
arms, legs, and feet. 

"It fell, that once upon a time when the combat was 
at its thickest, this plebeian champion beaded a charge 
so rapid and furious, that all fled before him. He was 
several paces before his comrades, and had actually laid 
his hands upon the patrician standard, when one of our 
party, whom some misjudging friend had entrusted with 
a couteau de chatae, or hanger, inspired with a zeal for 
the honor of the corps, worthy of Major Sturgeon him- 
self, struck poor Green-breeks over the head, with 
strength sufficient to cut him down. When this was 
seen, the casualty was so far beyond what had ever taken 
place before, that both parties fled different ways, leaving 
poor Green-breeks, with his bright hair plentifully dab- 
bled in blood, to the care of the watchman, who (honest 
man) took care not to know who had done the mischief. 
The bloody hanger was thrown into one of the Meadow 
ditches, and solemn secrecy was sworn on all hands; but 
the remorse and terror of the actor were beyond all 
bounds, and his apprehensions of the most dreadful char- 
acter. The wounded hero was for a few days in the 




InfinnBiy, the case being only a trifling one. But though 
inquiry was strongly pressed on him, no argument could 
make him indicate the person from whom he had re- 
ceived the wound, though he must have been perfectly 
well known to him. When he recovered and was dis- 
inissed, the author and his brothers opened a communica- 
tion with him, through the medium of a popular ginger- 
bread baker, of whom both parties were customers, in 
order to tender a subsidy in the name of smart-money. 
The sum would excite ridicule were I to name it; but 
sure I am that the pockets of the noted Qreen-breeks 
never held as much money of his own. He declined the 
remittance, saying that he would not sell his blood; but 
at the same time reprobated the idea of being an in- 
fomer, which he said was dam, that is, base or mean. 
With much urgency, he accepted a pound of snuff for the 
use of some old woman — aunt, grandmother, or the like 
— with whom he lived. We did not become friends, for 
the bickers were more agreeable to both parties than any 
more pacific amusement; but we conducted them ever 
after under mutual assurances of the highest considera- 
tion for each other." Sir Walter adds — "Of five bro- 
thers, all healthy and promising in a degree far beyond 
one whose infancy was visited by personal infirmity, and 
whose health after this period seemed long very preca- 
nous, I am, nevertheless, the only survivor. The best 
loved, and the best deserving to be loved, who had des- 
tmed this incident to be the foundation of a literary 
composition, died ' before his day,' in a distant and for- 
eign land ; and trifles assume an importance not their own 
when connected with those whc have been loved and 

During some part of his attendance on the High 
School, young Walter spent one hour daily at a smaU 
separate seminary of writing and arithmetic, kept by one 
Morton, where, as was, and I suppose continues to be, 
the custom of Edinburgh, young girls came for instruo- 




tion as wen u boysj and one of Mr. Morton's female 
pupils has been kind enough to set down some little rem:- 
ni«enoes of Scott, who happened to sit at the same desk 
witi herself. They appear to me the more interesting, 
because the lady had no acquaintance with him in the 
course of his subsequent life. Her nephew, Mr. James 
(the accomplished author of Richelieu), to whose friend- 
ship 1 owe her communication, assures me, too, that he 
had constantly heard her tcU the same things In the very 
same way, as far back as hU own memory reaches, many 
yem before he had ever seen Sr Walter, or his aunt 
ooiUd have dreamt of surviving to assist in the biographv 
of his early days. b r j 

"He attracted," Mrs. Chumside says, "the regard and 
fondness of all his companions, for he was ever rational 
fanciful, lively, and possessed of that urbane gentleness 
of manner which makes its way to the heart. His imag- 
•nation was constantly at work, and he often so engrossed 
the attention of those who learnt with him, that little 
could be done — Mr. Morton himself being forced to 
laugh as much as the Uttle scholars at the odd turns and 
devices he feU upon; for he did nothing in the ordinary 
way, but, for example, even when he wanted ink to his 
pen, would get up some ludicrous story about sending his 
-^e to the mill again. He used also to interest us in 
a more serious way, by telling us the visions, as he called 
Uiem, which he had lying alone on the 6oor or sofa, when 
kept from gomg to church on a Sunday by ill health. 

-.1^ v". ""' ^ ™"'^ ""^ •■«'? ''«°g '•'gl'ly delighted 
wiUi his description of the glories he had seen —his misty 
and sublime sketches of the regions above, which he had 
visited in his trance. Recollecting these descriptions, 
radiant and not gloomy as they were, I have often thought 
since that there must have been a bias in his mind to su- 
perstitio- — the marvellous seemed to have such power 
over hun, though the mere offspring of his own imagina- 
Hon, that the expression of his face, habitually that of 





■ «: 

genuine benevolence, mingled with a ahrewd innocent 
humor, changed greatly while he was apeaking of then 
things, and showed a deep intenseness of feeling, as if he 
were awed even by his own recital. ... I may add, that 
in walking he used always to keep his eyes turned down- 
wards as if thinking, but with a pleasing expression of 
countenance, as if enjoying his thoughts. Having once 
known him, it was impossible ever to forget him. In 
this manner, after all the changes of a long life, he con- 
stantly appears as fresh as yesterday to my mind's eye." 

This beautiful extract needs no commentary. I may 
as well, however, bear witness, that exactly as the school- 
boy still walks before her " mind's eye," his image rises 
familiarly to mine, who never saw him until he was past 
the middle of life: that I trace in every feature of her 
delineation the same gentleness of aspect and demeanor 
which the presence of the female sex, whether in silk or 
in russet, ever commanded in the man ; and that her de- 
scription of the change on his countenance when passing 
from the "doggie of the mill" to the dream of Paradise 
is a perfect picture of what no one that has heard hirx 
recite a fragment of high poetry, in the course of tabu 
talk, can ever forget. Strangers may catch some notion 
of what fondly dwells on the memory of every friend, by 
glancing frem the conversational bust of Chantrey to 
the first portrait by Raebum, which represents the Last 
Minstrel as musing in his prime within sight of Her- 

I believe it was about this time that, as he expresses 
it in one of his latest works, "the first images of horror 
from the scenes of real life were stamped upon his mind," 
by the tragical death of his great-aunt, Mrs. Margaret 
Swinton. This old lady, whose extraordinary nerve of 
character he illustrates largely in the introduction to the 
story of Aunt Margaret's Mirror, was now living with 
one female attendant, in a small house not far from Mr. 
Scott's residence in George's Square. The maid-servant, 


in a andden aocew of inuinity, atruck her miatreaa to 
death with a coal-axe, and then ruahed furioualy into the 
atreet with the bloody weapon in her hand, proclaiming 
aloud the horror ahe had perpetrated. I need not dwell 
on the effects which mast have been produced in a vir- 
tuous and affectionate circle by this shocking incident. 
The old lady had been tenderly attached to her nephew. 
"She waa," he says, "our constant resource in sickneaa, 
or when we tired of noiay play, and oloaed round her to 
listen to her talea." 

It was^ at this same period that Mr. and Mrs. Scott 
received into their house, as tutor for their children, Mr. 
James Mitchell, of whom the Ashestiel Memoir gives us 
a description, such as I could not have presented had he 
been still alive. Mr. Mitchell was living, however, at 
the time of his pupil's death, and I am now not only at 
liberty to present Scott's unmutilated account of their 
intercourse, but enabled to give also the most simple and 
characteristio narrative of the other party. I am sure no 
one, however nearly related to Mr. Mitchell, will now 
complain of seeing hia keen-sighted pupil's sketch placed 
by the side, as it were, of the fuller portraiture drawn by 
the unconscious hand of the amiable and worthy man 
himself. The following is an extract from Mr. Mitchell's 
MS., entitled "Memorials of the most remarkable occur- 
rences and transactions of my life, drawn up in the hope 
that, when I shall be no more, they may be read with 
profit and pleasure by my children." The good man waa 
so kind as to copy out one chapter for my use, aa soon as 
he heard of Sir Walter Scott's death. He waa then, and 
had for many yeara been, miniater of a Preabyterian 
chapel at Wooler, in Northumberland, to which aituation 
he had retired on loaing his benefice at Montrose, in con- 
sequence of the Sabbatarian scruples alluded to in Scott's 

" In 1782," says Mr. Mitchell, " I became a tutor in Mr. 
Walter Scott's family. He was a Writer to the Signet in 


George'i Sqnkn, Edinburgh. Mr. Scott waa » flne4ookiiig 
man, then a little part the meridian of life, of dignified, yet 
agreeable manners. His bnsineas was extensive. He was a 
man of tried integrity, of strict morals, and had a respect for 
religion and its ordinances. The church the family attended 
WM the Old Greyfriars, of which the celebrated Doctors 
Bobertson and Erskine were the ministers. Thither went Mr. 
and Mrs. Scott every Sabbath, when veil and at home, attended 
by their fine young family of children, and their domestic sor- 
rants — a sight so amiable and eiempUry as often to excite in 
my breast a glow of heartfelt satisfaction. According to an 
established and Uudable practice in the family, the heads of it, 
the children, and servants, were assembled on Sunday evenings 
in the drawing-room, and examined on the Church Catechism 
and sermons they had heard delivered during the course of the 
day ; on which occasions I had to perform the part of chaplain, 
and conclude with prayer. From Mrs. Scott I learned that 
Mr. Scott was one that had not been seduced from the paths of 
virtue ; but had been enabled to venerate good morals from his 
youth. When he first came to Edinburgh to follow out his 
profession, some of his schoolfellows, who, like him, had come 
to reside in Edinburgh, attempted to unhinge his principles, 
and corrupt his morals ; but when ther found him resolute, and 
unshaken in his virtuous dispositions, they gave up the attempt ; 
but, instead of abandoning him altogether, they thought the 
more of him, and honored him with their confidence and patron- 
age ; which is certainly a great inducement to young men in the 
outset of hie to act a similar part. 

"After having heard of his inflexible adherence to the cause 
of virtue in his youth, and his reguUr attendance on the ordi- 
nances of religion in after-life, we will not be surprised to h- 
told that he bore a sacred regard for the Sabbath, nor at the 
following anecdote illustrative of it. An opulent farmer of 
East I«thian had employed Mr. Scott as his agent, in a cause 
depending before the Court of Session. Having a curiosity to 
see something in the papers relative to the process, which were 
deposited in Mr. Scott's hands, this worldly man came into Edin- 
burgh on a Sunday to have an inspection of them. As there 
was no immediate necessity for this measure, Mr. Scott asked 
the farmer if an ordinary week-day would not answer equally 



•red them to him, „yia„ u ,„ „?^. ^'- ?~" ""■> ■'«''»• 

fort «.d hooo, I w^'bTr r?h "^ T'"* ''^ '^'' ™°'- 

mhd umUr Z^M^ 'ft '^^^ *" '"'^» ^^^ ''-''and', 
"mm unaer the aapenties of bmrneM, and to be a rich ble».in<, 
to her nomeroua prmrenT Bnf -l,.. ^- . "'""'"g 

of it. divine coZ^l' stTSVIrk-"- ™^"^'"" 

We g™,e, when he preached, to have heart Z SlS 
On. Scott was a defendant of Dr. Daniel Ruth.rf„t? 
Sn^mt ^^t f"^ "' ^Ctrotli'thC 

« «ceUent lingmst, and, according to U.e cu.CS a,e^LT 
aeuvered hi. prelections to the .tudent. in Latin mZ Z Z 

^o^ r^tteTT^ '"'^' P.«:nt.^rw..i"±: 

b W T h f 'iT " P"y" *" «» accompanying 

Whir";!"- '''''''° '■"*"''=<'•» """''' I ^^ 
"°"^ S™''™"^ '»«»««1 by thoM of hi. profiaon. 



" Mr. Seott'i family eouutod of iix childnn, all of which 
were at home except the eldeet, who waa an ofBcer in the army i 
and aa they were of an age fit for inrtmetion, they were all 
committed to my snperintendence, which, in dependence on 
God, I exerciaed with an eameit and faithful regard to their 
temporal and spiritual good. Ai the moat of them were under 
public teaehera, the duty aaaigned me waa mainly to aaaiat them 
la the prosecution of their atudiea. In all the excellenciea, 
whether aa to temper, conduct, talenta natural or acquired, 
which any of the children indindually poaaeaaed, to Maater 
Walter, aince the celebrated Sir Walter, muat a decided prefer- 
ence be ascribed. Though, like the reat of the children, placed 
under my tuition, the conducting of hia education comparatively 
coat me but little trouble, being, by the quicknesa of hia intellect, 
tenacity of memory, and diligent application to hia atndiea, gen- 
erally equal of himself to the acqniaition of thoae taaks I or others 
prescribed to him. So that Maater Walter might be regarded 
not so much aa a pupil of mine, bat aa a friend and compuiion, 
and, I may add, aa an aaaiitant alao ; for, by hia example and 
adr.onitions, he greatly strengthened my handa, and stimulated 
my other pupils to induatry and good behavior. I aeldom had 
occaaion all the time I was in the family to find fault with him 
even for triflea, and only once to threaten aerioua castigation, 
of which he waa no sooner aware than he suddenly sprung up, 
threw bis arms about my neck, and kissed me. It is hardly 
needful to sUte, that now the intended caatigation waa no longer 
thought of. By auch generous and noble conduct, my displea- 
sure waa in a moment converted into eateem and admiratian ; 
my aoul melted into tendemeea, and I was ready to mingle my 
tears with his. Some incidents in reference to him in that early 
period, and some interesting and nseful conversations I had 
with him, then deeply impressed on my mind, and which the 
h»pse of near half a century has not yet obliterated, afforded no 
doubtful presage of hia future greatneaa and celebrity. On my 
going into the family, aa tar aa I can j ^, he might be in hia 
twelfth or thirteenth year, a boy in the rector'a class. How- 
ever elevated above the other boys in genius, though generally 
in the liat of the duxea, he -vaa aeldom, as far aa I recollect, 
the leader of the achool : nor need thia be deemed aurpriaing, as 
it has often been observed that boys of original genius have 


tor,«l for hirkn™!li ''T^^ ^- ^^^' «*• ««■ 

of which th. folli,^- „'rSL^ '"«'' ?^'««i»« wd wg«d , 
In th. High Scho.r-Uw.^k^^'* "^t"^ " • P~>'- 

thocW. When tir«rrr^°S^ T\°°r '"'*«'• 
toth.m «M that oMMwiT. I. ^■?/'*"'^ ?'*«"'«'• 

tM h«, oo^TTfe/Lb^^J^ court « to the .t«^e, 

' ** '"™ "• ""-P- ««««iil «Bb». «rtri. , . 1 
MMter Walter, havinff taken . „,•„ . 

CbAtian principle., yet cert^y it ittla^L 1?^/ »' 
"M not a diclat.. nf ™_ 7^*^ " honorable that it 

-hojnh.look«, npoJ T.lSXZ:.""' "*^'"' »' ™ 

wi^S'toZrcs^ M '^'^. '"'.'"'■ "« ~" ■» 

Aould rtate to me Wbln ^ 1 '^'*"'" '" » »»*««' he 
Ya«h. heloX uS„r"'* """"'.«'' *" ««h School 
of •ppropriab^t^, ^rZ'"'" ^ *« f^""''- I»«'e«l 
to look .Sound^and on doiZ Zl " T" "' ^"""^^ '"^ "» 

" ^^r:" '" --^- s/resrr^t: 

Ni«in, tb. iMM ol tb. «„,_ ^^ *"''*^ t" »■• en™,', friend 

" won. tannd ■ pact o' luut, 
i«d Bob lirf AJta CM,. » «,.. ,^,. 

96 SIR WALTER SCOTT .«t. ii 

bad )ait anything, Iw wmlMt: Ua pookata, and then npliad 
that ha had loat half-a-gninaa. JIaatar Waltar with plaaanra 
preacntad him with hii loit tnaaora. In thia traoMuitioa, hla 
ingennitjr in finding oat the propar owner, and hii intagritj in 
reatoring the property, met my moat eordial approbation. 

" When in church, Maatar Walter had mora of a uparifie 
tendency than the rett of my yoong charge. Thia leemed to be 
eonatitutional. He needed one or other of the family to arooie 
him, and from thia it might be inferred that he would cut a poor 
figure on the Sabbath evening when examined about the Mr- 
mona. But what excited the admiratian of the family waa, that 
none of the children, however wakeful, could anawer a« he did. 
The only way that I could account for thia waa, that when ha 
heard the text, and diviaiona of the lubject, hia good aenie, 
memoiy, and geniua, inpplied the tboughta which would occur 
to the preacher. 

"On one occasion, in the dining-room, when, according to 
cuttom, he waa reading lome author in the time of relaxation 
from study, I asked him how he accounted for the superiority 
of knowledge he possessed above the rest of the family. His 
reply was : — Some years ago ha had been attacked by a swell- 
ing in one of hia ankles, which confined him to the house, and 
prevented him taking amuaement and exercise, and which waa 
tlie cause of his lameness. As under thia ailment he could not 
romp with hia brothers and the other young people in the green 
in George's Square, he found himself compelled to have recourse 
to aome subetitnte for the juvenile amusements of his comrades, 
and this was reading. So that, to what he no doubt accounted 
a painful dispensation of Providence, he probably stood indebted 
for his future celebrity. When it was understood I waa to 
leave the family. Master Walter told me that he had a small 
present to give me, to be kept aa a memorandum of his friend- 
ship, and that it waa of little value: 'But you know, Mr. 
Mitchell,' said he, ' that presents are not to be estimated accord- 
ing to their intrinaio value, but according to the intention of the 
donor.' This waa his Adam's Grammar, which had seen hard 
service in its day, and had many animals and inscriptions on its 
margins. This, to my regret, is no longer to be found in my 
collection of books, nor do I know what haa become of it 
" Since leaving the family, although no stranger to the widely 


»«t, „d .pent . niL trithl ? Monlw*. h. piUd n.. , 
"orthern cireoit N„r waT^ .tt?;/"""^ of J„.tiei,Tr in iu 

.torie. .bout f«^', XI n ^ ""' '"^^"'^ 

regretted, «, do I .tiU, th.t Si' wIlU^ " • "'"™"''' 

much devoted to the rfi&TLiK !u . '*'"'°°' ""«' »» «• 

«d u« hi. gr..t'';i,'::?^h?X^^u :i^' "''"■'";:""•?• 

]«t.. At the ume tin,, r » i u "^^ "" '""=•• '"t- 

- 1 «. K.nera«7;v.r.: lirjuLTuTt "uf Sotti: ""t- 

»ore pun, „d une«eptionabl. nZ, «!„ k ! ■ *" "* ' 
ing. of , .i„iu, de«r^onTwMr?t ^ "'^.''""f •ri'- 
liM been occunii^l in .1,. j . "" '*"" "">« W. pen 

«obw ordtrt ;^ ^"i" "* '"'• »' • '«"'' "^ 

one d»y MTi« .t I^Z^ "W the conncUon thst he would 
PMronwe in beh^ „f th. "f*""" »' •"" ™it to .eture hi. 

«~.t to the cS« prrSL^"w'"u^r '»'"" *° 
i" ««. of T«an^ S^"^,, l!";'"* ^" ''™ P««or. 
( w •■•*'«ioy. niB answer strnck me rnn*h . :« 

' N.y, n.y, Mr. Mitehell, I 'U „„, doX for SL ' '" ~ 
•» done, I and the lik« „{ ™. • "" "»» . lor if that were to 

g»IicJ elergy to obt^^. ^ °^ ' '^'' "" *» «™»- 

We" of that party 3T,Ui!^? pot qu«lr,te with the 
I"d, whoee ^ I """^"^ "> the Chureh of Scot- 

som;,r:eC"'wLri"r' ''' y-''^'^' -"' '^-v^^ 

•-'e aoBTOt^ thit I bj r" """"oned Sip Walter', JLh, 
what hT^Tl^'nl'^ ZTtTT^ "^ "■"'^«' "d^' 
hnmor. Thi, Zr U t^^^'V"', '" ^""^"'y "«' Rood- 
tion. As totTM^I C'' "^.""'^y " • e^did interpreta- 

much infS:;,:??' ^ """ *« ««"y to afford L 




Notwithstanding the rigidly Presbyterian habits which 
this clironicle describes with so much more satisfaction 
than the corresponding page in the Ashestiel Memoir, 
I am reminded, by a communication already quoted from 
a lady of the Bavelston family, that Mrs. Scott, who 
had, she says, "a turn for literature quite uncommon 
among the ladies of the time," encouraged her son in his 
passion for SItakespeare; that his plays, and the Arabian 
Nights, were often read aloud in the family circle by 
Walter, "and served to spend many a happy evening 
hour J " nay, that, however good Mitchell may have 
frowned at such a suggestion, even Mr. Scott made little 
objection to his children, and some of their young friends, 
getting up private theatricals occasionally in the dining- 
room after the lessons of the day were over. The lady 
adds, that Walter was always the manager, and had the 
whole charge of the affair, and that the favorite piece 
nsed to be Jane Shore, in which he was the Hastings, 
his sister the Alicia. I have heard from another friend 
of the family that Richard HI. also was attempted, and 
that Walter took the part of the Duke of Gloucester, ob- 
serving that "the limp would do well enough to represent 
the hump." 

A story which I have seen in print, about his partak- 
ing in the dancing lessons of his brothers, I do not be- 
lieve. But it was during Mr. Mitchell's residence in 
the family that they all made their unsuccessful attempts 
in the art of music, imder the auspices of poor Alliater 
Campbell— the Editor of Albyn's Anthology. 

Mr. Mitchell appears to have terminated his superin- 
tendence before Walter left Dr. Adam, and in the inter- 
val between this and his entrance at College, he spent 
some time with his aunt, who now inhabited a cottage at 
Kelso ; but the Memoir, I suspect, gives too much exten- 
sion to that residence — which may be accounted for by 
his blending with it a similar visit which he paid to the 
same phuse during his College vacation of the next year. 

'783 KELSO 

o 99 

tion of ft ooL in L C"' '"l* «» f'^O't de«,rip. 
(1828), where, talk" g of ™Ld. f^'^'^'^ ^"''<"'^e 
««««, he say,:- "TW r.^ '"'^. ?"' " *« ^<'A 

rve ciaAorr Jir:^/";iraj'dr '*r ^^ '^^ 

tions, which would othe™L'i * «<l»«»tered sitaa- 

any kind. I retal 11^.^5™,°° •""'''''' ^«'''»" "^ 
the seclusion oTt^h^ ^' ""d pleasmg „coUeotion of 
to a beautiful villas the Hv t '." "°"*Se. adjacent 
Udy, was for 3'ile ^^'^^^ "'? -""-?* -""^ 
a garden of seven or ei^kf L , ,"** "'"»'«' •■» 

for aught I know, hf ^t^7'L''C''T{ "'' 
steaight walks, between hedee, of Ll^ Ml of long, 
which rose tall and olosl „f ' T,™^ hornbeam, 
thickets of flowe^sl^t ° T"^ "^'j ^'"^ "">"> 


mental treetXci hTatfint^' ?»«>«- we™ ""« oma- 

»h»d was mied wfth frJ^f J:?' '™; ^<J ^ or- 

There were seats, and ^^311^'' If ""**'?"• 

l»i«e. I visited this «H,nejaX^'X * ''r"'*'"8 
many veani Tt. .• t lately, after an absence of 





he levisited the favorite scene, and the ladness of his 
looks when he disoovered that the " huge hill of leaves " 
was no more. 

To keep np his scholarship while inhabiting the gar- 
den, he attended daily, as he informs us, the public 
school of Kelso, and here he made his first acquaintance 
with a family, two members of which were intimately 
connected with the most important literary transactions 
of his after-life — James Ballantyne, the printer of al- 
most all his works, and his brother John, who had a 
share in the publication of many of them. Their father 
was a respectable tradesman in this pretty town. The 
elder of the brothers, who did not long survive his illus- 
trious friend, was kind enough to make an exertion on 
behalf of this work, while stretched on the bed from 
which he never rose, and dictated a valuable paper of 
memoranda, from which I shall here introduce my first 
extract: — 

" I think," aays James Ballantyne, " it was in the year 1783 
that I first became acquainted with Sir Walter Scott, then a 
boy about my own age, at the Grammar School of EeUo, of 
which Mr. Lancelot Whale was the Rector. The impression 
left by his manners was, even at that early period, calculated 
to be deep, and I cannot recall any other instance in which the 
man and the boy continued to reeemble each other so much and 
so long. Walter Scott was not a constant schoolfellow at this 
seminary ; he only attended it for a few weeks during the vaca- 
tion of the Edinburgh High SohooL He was then, as he con- 
tinued during all his siter-life to be, devoted to antiquarian 
lore, and was certainly the best story-teller I had ever heard, 
either then or since. He soon discovered that 1 was as fond of 
listening as he himself was of relating ; and I remember it was 
a thing of daily occurrence, that after he had made himself 
master of his own lesson, I, alas, being still sadly to seek in 
mine, he used to whisper to me, ' Come, slink over beside me, 
Jamie, and I '11 tell you a story.' I well recollect that he had 
a form, or seat, appropriated to himself, the particular reason 
of which I cannot tell, bat he was always treated with a pecu- 


find any on, .^ ^'^^ ° ' "-J ™« to b, delighted to»'soo;r.:ftr:Son.s^'; ^v^»yo'^B 

w« never intemntted, „ W L Centu. ^^r*^ '""'''' 

<»»oonrt.nt prS to wJ^. l;:*^."' '''^' ^'^' '' "" 

XVeed,o.e£^en:e::lXt«Xt^r '.?' 
Wone8 seemed to be quite ineihausUblTThiTl. ' "^ 
tinned during the ,umlne« of ST™™ 178^ ^^"T T" 
.-f in 178^^, ,hen I went intoKI^'clP' "*'■■ 

™» occasion to introduce the Soc ety of Friends TM. 


102 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. ij 

nened under her hoapitakle roof. He records, in a note 
to the DOTel, the "liberality and beoeTolenoe" of thii 
"kind old lady" in allowing him to "rummage at plea- 
sure, and carry home any volumes he ohose of her small 
but valuable libiary;" annexing only the condition that 
he should "take at the same time some of the traota 
printed for encouraging and extending the doctrines of 
her own sect. She did not," he adds, "even exact any 
assurance that I would read these performances, being 
too justly afraid of involving me in a breach of promise, 
but was merely desirous that I should have the chance of 
instruction within my reach, in case whim, curiosity, or 
accident, might induce me to have recourse to it." I 
remember the pleasure with which he read, late in life, 
Bome in the Nineteenth Century, an ingenious work pro- 
duced by one of Mrs. Waldie's granddaughters, and how 
comically he pictured the alarm with which his ancient 
friend would have perused some of its delineations of the 
high places of Popery. 

I shall be pardoned for adding a marginal note written, 
apparently late in Scott's life, on his copy of a little for- 
gotten volume, entitled Trifles in Verse, by a Young 
Soldier. "In 1788," he says, "or about that time, I 
remember John Marjoribanks, a smart recruiting ofBcer 
in the village of Kelso, the Weekly Chronicle of which 
he filled with his love verses. His Delia was a Miss 
Dickson, daughter of a shopkeeper in the same village — 
his Gloriana a certain prudish old maiden lady, benempt 
Mias Groldie; I think I see her still, with her thin arms 
sheathed In scarlet gloves, and crossed like two lobsters 
in a fishmonger's stand. Poor Delia was ,, very beauti- 
ful girl, and not more conceited than a be-rhymed miss 
ought to be. Many years afterwards I found the Kelso 
bdle, thin and pale, her good looks gone, and her smart 
dress n^lected, governess to the brats of a Paisley manu- 
facturer. I ought to say there was not an atom of scandal 
in her flirtetion with the young military poet. The 




bard's fate wa. not much better; after >ome Mrvicc in 

?™h "Idl^"^' '" JS' ' •»"W life abT^^ 
wW k ^ "^ """• ^" » » '««'»i'y of thought in 

I hke them beoauM they recaU my «,h«,lboy d^\,^ 
I thought hm a Horace, and hig Delia a goddew!" 




On returning to Edinburgh, and entering the College, 
in November, 1788, Scott found himself once more in 
the fellowship of all his intimates of the High School; of 
whom, besides those mentioned in the autobiographical 
fragment, he speaks in his diaries with particular affec- 
tion of Sir William Bae, Bart., David Monypenny (after- 
wards Lord Pitmilly), Thomas Tod, W. 8., Sir Archi- 
bald Campbell of Succoth, Bart., all familiar friends of 
his through manhood, — and the Earl of Dalhousie,' 
whom, on meeting with him after a long separation in 
the evening of life, he records as still being, and having 
always been, "the same manly and generous character 
that all about him loved as the Lordie Ramsay of the 
Yards." The chosen companion, however, continued to 
be for some time Mr. John Irving — his suburban walks 
with whom have been recollected so tenderly, both in the 
Memoir of 1808, and in the Preface to Waverley of 
1829. It will interest the reader to compare with those 
beautiful descriptions the following extract from a letter 
with which Mr. Irving has favored me: — 

"Every Saturday, and more frequently during the 
vacations, we used to retire, with three or four books 
from the circulating library, to Salisbury Crags, Arthur's 
Seat, or Blackford Hill, and read them together. He 

1 Oaoip, ninth Eul of Dalkomia, UgUj diMiipiiilied in tha milittr; 
unsla of liii timi, diid on tlu 21rt Muoh, 1888, in hii 68th ywi. 

read faster than I anJ kaj «_ »v 
little at flaUhW evT^ t^' Z *^"^""'' ^ "I* « 
leaf Tl,« kZi ^ ° P***"' ">«*<»» tumine the 

-./SS:^; J:^'?^^^^^; Spen-, Aricto. 
the rooks in 8m™.k IT i ■ ' ^e used to climb up 

better weZtd ^1 He" w« "^"'•''' ""^ "O"' *^ 
Sometime. wrJ^r*! i "J^'y "P*" »' climbine. 

what I read- bT™,!^*^ *°'*^''* 8^* P«rt of 

ii« X read, but my friend, notwithstandine he na^ 

«th .noh rapidity, remained, to my surpri«,, Lter Ttt 

re^TZtl " ^ "O"*™"*! this practice of 

m ,t, and used to recite for half an hour or more ^ , 
tone, whUe I seldom continneH „alf tiat 8n«^ t\! 
at^-for wl'""' "•.^" ■''•"^^ 1-tidfrteJi^ 

S^aTt^fh ^ P*™'.""" *"" """""^ '^-J ™ to learn 
flZT *°8«tber; after a time we could both read it witt 
fluency and we then copied such tale, as we bTj^ ^ 

io6 SIR WALTER SCOTT xr. 14 

Tbeie, no doubt, were among the gemu of the oolleo- 
tion of baUada in lix little Toliuneg, which, from the 
handwriting, had been begun at thia early period, and 
which ia atill preaerved at Abbotaford. Ajid it appear* 
that at least aa early a date muat be aaoribed to another 
collection of little humorous atoriea in prose, the Penny 
Chap-bookt, aa they are called, still in high favor among 
the lower claaaea in Scotland, which atanda on the same 
shelf. In a letter of 1880 * he statea that he had bound 
up thinga of this kind to the extent of several volumes, 
before he was ten years old. 

Although the Aaheitiel Memoir mentions so very 
lightly hia boyish addiction to verse, and the rebuke 
which his vein received from the apothecary's blue-bns- 
kined wife as having l<een followed by similar treatment 
on the part of othera, I am inclined to believe that while 
thua devouring, along with hia young friend, the atoriea 
of Italian romance, he essayed, from time to time, to 
weave aome of their materiala into rhyme; — nay, that 
he muat have made at leaat one rather aerious effort of 
thia kind, aa early as the date of these rambles to the 
Salisbury Crags. I have found among hia mother'a 
papers a copy of verses, headed, "Linea to Mr. Walter 
Scott — on reading kit poem of Guitcard and Matilda, 
inscribed to Miae Keith of Ravdaton." There ia no 
date; but I conceive the linea bear internal evidence of 
having been written when he waa very young — not, I 
should suppose, above fourteen or fifteen at moat. I 
think it alao certain that the writer waa a woman ; and 
have almoat aa little doubt that they came from the pen 
of his old admirer, Mrs. Cockbum. They are as fol- 
lows: — 

" If ntdi Uu Moanti of tliy Mrly Tooth 
Wbon playf ol Haaj holds the pUoe of troth ; 
If M diTinely iweot thy nomben flow, 
And thy yoong hooit molfei vith locb -' itder voe ; 

> Sm Stnog'o Oeniiaajr in ISil, toL L p. 260. 


^^ pnin, wbt Mlmlntliai >lidl U iUm 

To niH thj (niai, ud Ihj iHto nflM I 

"m'^i^ !<»«■>. tl" »lorf™ path pm» 

Go, Wd th. ■«* h., hMd lath loin. Mi», 
By timlj ndtan, to tluir DXin iki« ' 
Go, ud amploj tlu poM's huTral; «, 
M^ DMwlj to ddlgbt, b« iDMd ih. li«rt 
TbM othor pMt. hoppiw Duyrt tlioo pro™, 
Mom bUot In fcUmdihip, forton«. In Ct. 
WUte Fttw, ,lw loop to mok. t™. n»rit taowi 
Imp«i,nti™intocWnitliM«ihMoi™. ^^ 

"2?"'^ tl» yok. of pnjndiM ud pildo, 
Thy tendor Bind bt troth ind tenon (nida j 
Let meek homillty thy etepi attend. 
And firm integrity, yonth'e lareat friend. 
So peusa end honor nil thy honn ehiUl bhii, 
And eouoioaa reotitnde each joy inoreaae ; 
A nobler meed be thine than empty praiae— 
Hearen absU approTe thy Ufa, and Keith thy Uya." « 

At the period to which I refer these verse., Scott'. 
puento .tiU continued to have nme expectations of cur. 
■^ hui kmenM., and Mr. Irving remember, to have 
often awutod in applying- the electrical apparatus, on 
which for a considerable time they prinoipaUy rested their 
hopes. There is an allusion to these experiment, in Scott', 
autobiographical fragment, but I have found a fuller 
notice on die margin of his copy of the Guide to Health. 
JJeau^ Kiches, and Longevity, a. Captain Grose chose 
to entitae an amusing coUeotion of quack advertisement.. 
^ The celebrated Dr. Graham," uys the annotator, 
was an empiric of wme geniu. and great assurance. In 

k,^ S^m"""^' '" ■»' ~"'«'"'«°» «o Dr. Jdm Brown', memorij of 
Wdrt« Mar3one,.aj, ttat theae «>r». ,.,e written by her «ml, Ifai 

Sir Yt..r"^ '^ ^ I^' " B»""*»- Another a J^lS 
We of S«tf. kb^ fc. Willi^n Keith of Comtorphin, HiU^ U 
«. at her hou« 1, North Charlotte St^et, that Sir Walter o«n. 4 know 
tao^her JelightfiU litUe niece, during her long J^, ^l^jS^ 

tot SIR WALTER SCOTT jtr. 14 

fact, he had a daih of madneu in his oompoiitioii. He 
had a fine eleotrioal apparatoi, and uwd it with •kill. I 
myielf, amongat other*, wa* subjected to a course of elec- 
tricity under his charge. I remember seeing the old 
Earl of Hopetoun seated in a huge armchair, and hung 
round with a colUr, and a belt of magnets, like an In- 
dian chief. After this, growing quite wild, Graham set 
up his Temple of Health, and lectured on the Celettial 
Bed. He attempted a course of these lectures at Edin- 
burgh, and as the Magistrates refused to let him do so, 
he libelled them in a series of advertisements, the flights 
of which were infinitely more absurd and exalted than 
those which Grose has collected. In one tirade (long in 
my possession), he decUred that ' he looked down upon 
them ' (the Magistrates) ' as the son in his meridian glory 
looks down on the poor, feeble, stinking glimmer of an 
expiring farthing candle, or as G— himself, in the pleni- 
tude of his omnipotence, may regard the insolent boun- 
cings of a few refractory maggots in a rotten cheese.' 
Graham was a good-looking man; he used to come to the 
Greyfriars' Church in a snit of white and silver, with a 
chapeau-bras, and his hair marvellously dressed into a 
sort of double tonpee, which divided upon his head like 
the two tops of Parnassus. Mrs. Macaulay, the histo- 
rianess, married his brother. Lady Hamilton is said to 
have first enacted his Goddess of Health, being at this 
time a file de joie of great celebrity.' The Temple of 
Health dwindled into a sort of obscene hell, or gambling 
bouse. In a quarrel which took phice there, a poor 
young man was run into the bowels with a red-hot poker, 
of which injury he died. The mob vented their fury on 
the house, and the Magistrates, somewhat of the latest, 
shut up the exhibition. A quantity of glass and crystal 
trumpery, the remains of the splendid apparatus, was 
sold on the South Bridge for next to nothing. Graham's 

> Ix)rd NeUoD'i eomiMtbni with thU Udy «m prMerra her celebrity. 
In Key i Edtnburgk Portraitt the reader will £iid more sbciit Dr. Oishem. 


next recipt WM th, tarti^ath, witl. which h. wrowrht 

nn^n'^'V'T?"'*'^ *~' *"' ^ »nder.tand, tried 
»pon Soott, but h., w,, not one of the ««., if aJy .„S 
there w«e, m which it worked . cure. He. however 

rtatement m the Memoir, «urt., me that whUe .tt,™ 
ing the early ola,«. at the College the young friend, c,. 
tended their walk. „ m eo in .uc^cio^n ^1^ Z witiiin eight or ten mile, of Edinburgh. "Si, 
waiter, he My., wa. .pooially food of Rowlyn. We 
frequently walked thither before bre^rfaet-aft^b™!!! 

Inf t'^' T**** "" '''"™ ""« "™' «<•» *» I«"wade 
-and thence home to town before dinner. He u«d 

JjJked together, «,d leaned with the other on a .tout 

The love of pioturewjue Menery, and MpeciaUr of 

plentrfuUy gam..hed, awoke, a. the Memoir telU ,^ the 
de,,re of bemg able to xm the penoU. Mr. Irving „y, 

IL \Tuf T .'°°"" » "'"' 0' ^"'"g along wiU, 
bm but dthough both fond of it, we found it t^kup 
w much tm,e U»t we gave thU up before we had made 

^ XT' n^-'""' °' '•'' •"" *"'<»• Seott^! 
mttSI- *°"'"'"'8 ""o™ particuUr account of thi. 

"I took Imran. of oil-painting in youth from a Uttle 
Jew «u.undcule-.a nnouch called BarreU-» clever 
«n«ble creature though. But I could make no prog,^ 

!ZL!f ''",'""8 " '^™8- Nature denied m^ the 
oorreotne.. of eye and neatneu of hand. Yet I wa. very 
denrou. to be a draughtsman at leart-and Ubored 
torder to attam that point than at any other in my recol- • 
lecfon to which I did not make «»ne approaco^' Zr- 



MT. 14 


nil WM not uMleu to m* altogether neither. He wm 
a Pnutian, and I got from him many a long itorj of the 
faattlee of Frederi<^ in whoee armiee hie father had been 
a commiaeary, or perhapi a ipy. I remember hie pietur- 
eeqne account of leeing a party of the black huisart 
bringing in lome forage cart* which they had taken from 
a body of the Coeuoki, whom he deioribed ai lying on 
the top of the carte of hay mortally wounded, and, like 
the dying gladiator, eyeing their own blood ai it ran 
down through the etraw." 

A year or two later Scott renewed hii attempt. "I 
afterwards," he aays, "took leeiona from Walker, whom 
we need to call Blue Beard. He wai one of the moet 
conceited penons in the world, but a good teacher; one 
of the ugliest countenance* he had that need be exhibited 
— enough, a* we say, to tpean weant. The man was 
alway* extremely precise in the quality of everything 
about him; his dress, accommodations, and everything 
else. He became insolvent, poor man, and, for some 
reason or other, I attended tiie meeting of those con- 
cerned in hi* affair*. Instead of ordinary accommoda- 
tions for writing, each of the penons present was equipped 
with a large sheet of drawing-paper and a swan's quill. 
It was mournfully ridiculous enough. Skirving made 
an admirable likeness of Walker; not a single soar or 
mark of the small-pox, which seamed his countenance, but 
the too accurate brother of the brush had faithfully laid 
it down in longitude and latitude. Poor Walker de- 
stroyed it (being in crayon*) rather than let the carica- 
ture of hi* uglines* appear at the aale of his effects. I 
did learn myself to take some vile views from nature. 
When Will Clerk and I lived very much together, I used 
sometimes to make them under his instruction. He to 
whom, as to all his family, art is a familiar attribute, 
wondered at me as a Newfoundland dog would at a grey- 
hound which showed fear of the water." ' 
> [Sm Jamiul, ToL L pp. 137-139.] 


Notwithrtanding «U flat Scott Mys ,bont th« total 
f«Io« of hi. attempt, in the art of the pencil, I pn„^ 
few will doubt that they p«,Ted very n«fnl to hii aft^ 
w«d.i from them it i. natural to .uppoM he caught the 
Ub.t of analyzing, with «me appro^^h at lea.t to aocu- 
racy, the «ene. over which hi. eye might have continued 
to wander with the vague mum of delight. I may add 
tibat a longer and more .uccewful practice of the crayon 
might, I cannot but think, have proved the reverw of 
wrvioeable to hua a. a future painter with the pen. He 
might have contracted the habit of copying frompicturea 
rrthe, than from nature it«U, and we .hould thu. have 
lort that which constitute, the very highert charm in hU 
delineation, of Keneiy. namely, that the effect i. p«,. 
duoed by the «lection of a few .triking feature., arranged 
with a light, unoonwiou. grace, neither too much nor too 
little - equaUy remote from the barren generaliatior... of 
a f Miner age, and the dull, wrvile Bdclity with which u 
mmy mferior writer, of our time fill in both background 
and foreground, having no more notion of the penpective 
of geniu. than Chinew paper-atainer. have of that of the 
atmoephere, and producing in fact not dewription. but 
mventoriea. "^ 

The illnen which he aUudes to in hi. Memoir, a. inter- 
rnptmg for a considerable period hi. attendance on the 
lAtm and Greek claHe. in Edinburgh College, i. .poken 
of more largely in one of hi. preface..' It aroM from 
U» bn«tmg of a blood-vewel in the lower boweU; and 
1 have heard him uy that hi. uncle. Dr. Kutherford, con- 
.idered hu recovery from it a. little lee. than miraon- 
Ion.. Hi. .weet temper and calm courage were no doubt 
unportant element, of Mfety. He .ubmitted without a 
murmur to the revere diwipline prewribed by hU affeo- 
tionate physician, and found conwlation in poetry, ro- 
iMnce, and the enthu.ia8m of young friendship. 'Day 
after day John Irving relieved his mother and sister in 
> 8w Pn&M to fTaimlei, 1888. 



iET. I J 

their attendanoe upon him. The bed on which he Uy 
was piled with a constant succeasion of works of imagi- 
nation, and sad Kalities were forgotten amidst the bril- 
liant day-dreams of genius drinking unwearied from the 
eternal fountains of Spenser and Shakespeare. Chess was 
ncommended as a relief to these unintermitted, though 
desultory studies; and he engaged eagerly in the game 
which had found favor with so many of his Paladins. 
Mr. Irring remembers playing it with him hour after 
hour, in very cold weather, when, the windows being 
kept open as a part of the medical treatment, nothing 
but youthful nerves and spirit could have persevered. 
But Scott did not pursue die science of chess after his 
boyhood. He used to say that it was a shame to throw 
away upon mastering a mere game, however ingenior^, 
the time which would sufBoe for the acquisition of a new 
language. "Surely," he said, "chess-playing is a sad 
waste of brains." 

His recovery was completed by another visit to Sox- 
burghshire. Captain Bobert Scott, who had been so 
kind to the sickly infant at Bath, finally retired about 
this time from his profession, and purchased the elegant 
vilb of Eosebank, on the Tweed, a little below Kelso. 
Here Walter now took up his quarters, and here, during 
all the rest of his youth, he found, whenever he chose, a 
second home, in many respects more agreeable than his 
own. His Uiide, as letters to be subsequently quoted 
will show, had nothing of his father's coldness for polite 
letters, but entered into all his favorite pursuits with 
keen sympathy, and was consulted, from this time forth, 
upon all his juvenile essays, both in prose and verse. 

He does not seem to have resumed attendance at Col- 
lege during the session of 1785-86; so that the Latin 
and Greek classes, with that of Logic, were the only ones 
he had passed through previous to the signing of his in- 
dentures as an apprentice to his father. The Memoir 
mentions the ethical course of Dugald Stewart, as if he 



h«d gone immediately from the logical pn,fes«,r fMr 

TtA f ^^''' '■« ^°^ "ot exaggerate in saying tCt 
*» • i. J . "wooi ana irwiynp, which he had occaainn 

and happening i^ it It^Z^lZ^L'^' 
he sent for me to insert them for him in his MS Mr' 
Irymg has informed us of the early neriod .twh.vJr' 
W the «,al Ta,«.andAri„':S'rplnL:t'h^' 
at W as soon as this enabled himself to read GU fltf 


^ .Uempt to speak t^ff-thLra th" t^ t^ 
soon after that infortunate prince took up his resident 
or tlo oT.T'' *'"" "^ Holy^od-house. finding t^'^ 
or two of these gentlemen could speak no Englifhli M 
he^made some efforts to amuse 4em in theb ow^',;:^: 

Ill I 


114 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. 15 

gnage after the champagne had been pawing briskly 
round the table; and I was amused next morning wHk 
the expression of one of the party, who, alluding to the 
sort of reading in which Sir Walter seemed to have 
chiefly occupied himself, said, " Mon Dieul comme il 
estropiait, entro deux vins, le Frsnfais du bon sire de 
Joinville!" Of all these tongues, as of Grerman some- 
what later, he acquired as much as was needful for his 
own purposes, of which a critical study of any foreign 
language made at no time any part. In them he sought 
for incidents, and he found images; but for the treasures 
of diction he was content to dig on British soil. He had 
all he wanted in the old wells of "English undefiled," 
and the still living, though fast shrinking, waters of tiiat 
sister idiom which had not always, as he flattered him- 
self, deserved the name of a dialect. 

As may be said, I believe, with perfect truth of every 
really great man, Scott was self-educated in every branch 
of knowledge which he ever turned to account in the 
works of his genius — and he has himself told us that his 
real studies were those lonely and desultory ones of which 
be has given a copy in the third chapter of Waverley, 
where the hero is represented as "driving through the 
sea of books, like a vessel without pilot or rudder ; " that 
is to say, obeying nothing but the strong breath of native 
inclination: — "He had read, and stored in a memory of 
uncommon tenacity, much curious, though ill-arranged and 
misoellaneons information. In English literature, he 
was master of Shakespeare and Milton, of our earlier dra- 
matic authors, of many picturesque and interesting pas- 
sages from our old historical chronicles, and was particu- 
larly well acquainted with Spenser, Drayton, and other 
poeto, who have exercised themselves on romantic fiction, 
o/all thanes the mott fatdnating to a ymthfid imagi- 
nation, he/ore the pastiona ftave roused themselms, and 
demand poetry of a more sentimental description." I 
need not repeat his enumeration of other favorites, Fulci, 


the DeoMneron, Froiwart, BnintSme, Delmone, and the 
ohivalrou. and romantic lore of Spain. I have quoted 
a pawage so weU known, only for the sake of the stoikinir 
oiroomstanoe by which it marks the very early daterf 
these moltifarioas studies. 




In the Minute-books of the Society of Writers to the 
Signet appears the foUowing entry: "Edinburgh, 15th 
May 1786. Compeared Walter Seott, and presented 
an indenture, dated Slst March last, entered into between 
him and Walter Scott, his son, for five years from the 
date thereof, under a mutual penalty of £40 storhng. 

An inauspicious stop this might at first sight appear m 
the early history of one so strongly predisposed for pur- 
suits wide as the antipodes asunder from the dry techni- 
calities of conveyancing; but he himself, I believe, was 
never heard, in his mature age, to express any regret that 
it should have been taken; and I am convinced for my 
part that it was a fortunate one. It prevented him, 
indeed, from passing with the usual regularity through a 
long course of Seoteh metaphysics; but I extremely doubt 
whether any discipline could ever have led him to denve 
either pleasure or profit from stadies of that order. His 
apprenticeship left him time enough, as we shall find, for 
continuing his appUcation to the stores of poetiy and 
romance, and those old chroniclers, who to the end were 
his darling historians. Indeed, if he had wanted any 
new stimulus, the necessity of devoting certain hours of 
every day to a routine of drudgery, however it might 
have operated on a spirit more prone to earth, must have 


tended to qoioken his appetite for "the sweet bread eaten 
m secret." But the duties which he had now to fulfil 
were, in various ways, directly and positively beneficial 
to tlie development both of his genius and his character. 
It was in the discharge of hU functions as a Writer's 
Apprentice that he first penetrated into the Highlands, 
and formed those friendships among the surviving heroes 
of 1746, which laid the foundation for one great cUss of 
his works. Even the less attractive parts of his new 
vocation were calculated to give him a more complete 
insight into the smaller workings of poor human nature 
than can ever perhaps be gathered from the experience 
of the legal profession in its higher walk; — the etiquette 
of the bar in Scotland, as in England, being averse to 
personal intercourse between the advocate and his client. 
But finally, and I will say chiefly, it was to this prosaic 
discipline that he owed those habits of steady, sober dili- 
gence, which few imaginative authors had ever before 
exemplified — and which, unless thus beaten into his 
composition at a ductile stage, even he, in aU probability, 
could never have carried into the ahnost professional 
oeroise of some of the highest and most delicate facul- 
ties of the human mind. He speaks, in not the least 
remarkable passage of the preceding Memoir, as if con- 
stitutional indolence had been his portion in common with 
all the members of his father's family. When Gifford, 
in a dispute with Jacob Bryant, quoted Doctor Johnson's 
own confession that he knew little Greek, Bryant an- 
swered, "Yes, young man; but how shall we know what 
Johnson would have called much Greek? " and Gifford 
has recorded the deep impression which this hint left on 
his own niind. What Scott would have called constitu- 
tional diligence, I know not; but surely, if indolence of 
any kind had been inherent in his nature, even the tri- 
umph of Socrates was not more signal than his. 

It will be, by some of my friends, considered as trivial 
to remark on such a circumstance — but the reader who 



XT. I J 

IB uoaoqiuunted with the professional lisbits of the Scotch 
lawyers may as well be told that the Writw's Appren- 
tice receives a certain allowance in money for every p«g* 
he transcribes; and that, a* in those days the greater 
part of the bnsiness, even of the supreme eourts, wa» 
carried on by meane of written papers, a ready peumaa, 
in a well-employed chamber, ooaid earn in this way 
eaough, at all events, to make a handson-^ addition to 
the pocket-money which was likely to be thought suitable 
for a youth of fifteen by such a man as the elder Scott. 
The allowance being, I believe, threepence for every page 
containing a certain fixed number of words, when Walter 
had finished, as he tells us be occasionally did, 120 pages 
within twenty-four hours, his fee would amount to thirty 
shillings; and in his early letters I find him more than 
once congratulating himself on having been, by some such 
exertion, enabled to purchase a bo<*, or a coin, otherwise 
beyond his reach. A sohoolfeUow, who was now, like 
himself, a Writer's Apprentice, recollecto the eagerness 
with which he thus made himself master of Evans's Bal- 
lads, shortly after their publication; and another of them, 
already often referred to, remembers, in particular, his 
rapture with Mickle's Cumnor Hall, which first appeared 
in that collection. "After the labors of the day were 
over," says Mr. Irving, "we often walked in the Mea- 
dows " — (a Urge field intersected by formal alleys of old 
trees, adjoining George's Square) — "especially in the 
moonlight nights; and he seemed never weary of repeat- 
ing the first stanza — 

* The deirt of lilDuner oight did fall — 
The Moon, sweet regent of the sky, 
SilTered the walli of Cunuwr Hall, 
And many an oak that gt«ir thereby.* " 

I ba« thought it worth while to preserve these remi- 
tt i»A»ui» of Ids companions at the time, though he has 
hwadf stated the circumstance in his Preface to Kenil- 
"There is a period in youth," he there says. 




"when the mere power of numberg baa a more strong 
effect on ear and imagination than in after-life. At this 
•eaaon of immature taste, the author was greatly delighted 
with the poems of Mickle and Langhome. The first 
atania of Cumnor Hall especially had a peculiar enchant- 
ment for his youthful ear — the force of which is not yet 
(1829) entirely spent." Thus that favorite elegy, after 
havmg dwelt on his memory and imagination for forty 
years, suggested the subject of one of his noblest ro- 

It is affirmed by a preceding biographer, on the au- 
thority of one of these brother-apprentices, that about 
this period Scott showed him a MS. poem on the Con- 
quest of Granada, in four books, each amounting to 
about 400 lines, which, soon after it was finished, he 
committed to the flames. » As he states in his Essay 
on the Imitation of PopuUr Poetry, that, for ten years 
previous to 1796, when his first translation from the Ger- 
man was executed, he had written no verses "except an 
occasional sonnet to his mistress's eyebrow," I presume 
ihis Conquest of Granada, the fruit of his study of the 
Guerras Civiles, must be assigned to the summer of 
1786 — or, making allowance for trivial inaccuracy, to 
the next year at latest. It was probably composed in 
imitation of Mickle's Lusiad: — at aU events, we have 
a very distinct statement, that he made no attempts in 
the manner of the old minstrels, early as his admiration 
for them had been, until the period of his acquaintance 
with Burger. Thus with him, as with most others, 
genius had haiarded many a random effort ere it discov- 
ered the true keynote. Long had 

" Amid the itriDgf his Bmgtn ■tnj'd. 
And ao aiKMrtaiit warfaliof mAdc," 

befttre "the measure wild " was caught, and 
" In yurjiag mOmtt. wft or ■trong, 
He ampt the tonading ehoids along," 

> Lift DfScM, bj Ht. til—, p. 53. 

* . t 

I I'il 


110 SIR WALTER SCOTT xr. ij 

Hii Touthfol admiration of Langhome has been ren- 
dered memorable by hii own record of hie first and only 
interview with his great redecessor, Robert Bums. 
Although the letter in which he narrates this incident, 
addressed to myself in 1827, when I was writing a short 
biography of that poet, has been often reprinted, it is too 
important for my present purpose to be omitted here. 

"As for Burns," he writes, "I may t Jy say, Virgi- 
Hum vidi tantum. I was a lad of fifteen in 1786-87, 
when he came first to Edinburgh, but luul ' se and feel- 
ing enough to be much interested in '.' \ uetry, and 
would have given the world to know hir Lat I had very 
little acquaintance with any literary peu i e, and still less 
with the gentry of the west country, the two sets that he 
most frequented. Mr. Thomas Grierson was at that 
time a clerk of my father's. He knew Bums, and pro- 
mised to ask him to his lodgings to dinner, but had no 
opportunity to keep his word, otherwise I might have 
seen more of this distinguished man. As it was, I saw 
him one day at the late venerable Professor Ferguson's, 
where there were several gentlemen of literary reputation, 
among whom I remember the celebrated Mr. Dngald 
Stewart. Of course we youngsters sat silent, looked, 
and listened. The only thing I remember which was 
remarkable in Bums's manner was the effect produced 
upon him by a print of Bunbury's, representing a soldier 
lying dead on the snow, his dog sitting in misery on the 
one side, on the other his widow, with a child in her 
arms. These lines were written beneath, — 

' Cold on CaaAcUwi htUt, or Mittdni's plain, 
Perhaps that parent wept her aoldier slain ; 
Bent o'er her babe, her eye djaeolved in dew, 
The big drope, mingling with the milk he drew, 
Gare the aad presage of hia (Mnra years, 
The child of misery baptiisd in tears.' 

Bums seemed much affected by the print, or rather the 
ideas which it suggested to his mind. He actually shed 
tears. He asked whose the lines were, and it chanced 

1786 ROBERT BURNS lai 

that nobody but mynlf remembered that they coonr in 
a half-forgotten poem of Langhome'a, called by the un- 
promiaing title of The Jiutice of the Peace. I whiapered 
my information to a friend preient, who mentioned it to 
Bomi, who rewarded me with a look and a word, which, 
thongh of mere civility, I then received, and still recol- 
lect, with very great pleaaure. 

^ "His person was strong and robust: his manners rus- 
tic, not clownish ; a sort of dignified plainness and sim- 
plicity, which received part of its effect perhaps from 
one's knowledge of his extraordinary talents. His fea- 
tures are represented in Mr. Nasmyth's picture, but to 
me it conveys the idea that they are diminishe'' : s if seen 
in perspective. I think his countenance was more mas- 
sive than it looks in any of the portraits. I would have 
taken the poet, had I nut known what he was, for a very 
sagacious country farmer of the old Scotch school — i. e., 
none of your modem agriculturists, who keep bborers 
for their drudgery, but the douce gudeman who held his 
own plough. There was a strong expression of sense and 
shrewdness in all his lineaments) the eye alone, I think, 
indicated the poetical character and temperament. It 
was large, and of a dark oast, and glowed (I say literally 
glowed) when he spoke with feeling or interest. I never 
saw sach another eye in a human head, though I have 
seen tte most distinguished men in my time. His con- 
venation exprensed perfect self-confidence, without the 
slightest presumpcion. Among the men who were the 
most leame-' of tbeir time and country he expressed him- 
self with periect flmmoss, but without the least intrusiva 
forwardness; and when he differed in opinion, he did not 
hesitate to express it firmly, y«t at the same time with 
niodeely. I do not remember any part of his conversa- 
tion distinctly enough to be quoted, nor did I ever see 
him again, except in the street, where he did not reoog- 
mse me, as I could not expect he should. He was mudi 
caressed in Edinboigfa, but (oonaideriug what literary 

131 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. 15 

emolomenti have been rinoe hu d»y) the efforta made for 
bii relief were extremely trifling. 

"I remember on thi» ooouion I mention, I thonght 
Bume's acquaintance with EngUih poetry wai rather 
limited, and ahra, that having twenty timei the abUitiee 
of AlUn Ram«ay and of Fergnewn, he talked of them 
with too much humility ai hie modeU; there wat doubt- 
leu national predilection in hit estimate." 

I need not remark on the extent of knowledge and 
juatness of taete exemplified in thii early meaeurement of 
Bums, both ae a student of English literature and a« a 
Scottish poet. The print, over which Scott saw Burns 
shed tears, is stiU in the possession of Dr. Ferguson's 
family, and I ha4 often heard him tell the story, in the 
room where the precious relic hangs, before I requested 
him to set it down in writing — how litUe anticipating 
the use to which I should ultimately apply iti • 

His intimacy with Adam (now Sir Adam) Ferguson 
was thus his first means of introduction to the higher 
literary society of Edinburgh; and it was very probably 
to that connection that he owed, among the rest, his ac- 
quaintance with the blind poet Bhioklock, whom Joba- 
son, twelve years earlier, "beheld with reverence." We 
have seen, however, that the venerable author of Douglas 
was a friend of his own parents, and had noticed him 
even in his infancy at Bath. John Home now inhabited 
a villa at no great distance from Edinburgh, and there, 
all through his young days, Scott was a frequent guest. 
Nor must it be forgotten that his uncle. Dr. Rutherford, 
inherited much of the general aooomplishmentB, as well 
as the professional reputation of his father — and that it 
was beneath that roof he saw, several years before this, 
Dp. Cartwright, then in the enjoymen' ci some fame as 
a poet. In this family, indeed, he had more than one 

> [" Long M. to thy ten. and pwe to thy ■ool, Rob Bum. I Wlie» I 
mult to opM. a wnttaMit »hioh I f^ rttooBly, I fiaa th. phlM. in 
Sbakeapeue — or thw." — /o«nwi, DwwmbM 11, 1826.] 




kind and itrennoui enooanger of hit early literary tattei, 
ai will be iliown abundantly when we reach certain relics 
of hii oorreipondence wiUi hii mother'* eiater. Dr. 
Rutherford'i good-natured remonatranoei with him, at 
a boy, for reading at breakfait, are well remembered, 
and will remind my reader of a similar trait in the jure- 
nile manners both of Bums and Byron; nor was this 
habit entirely kid aside even in Scott's advanced age. 

If he is quite accurate in referring his first acquaint- 
ance with the Highlands to his fifteenth year, this inci- 
dent also belongs to the first season of his apprentice- 
ship. His father had, among a rather numerous list of 
Highland cliints, Alexander Stewart of Invemahyle, 
an enthvjiastic Jacobite, who had survived to recount, 
in aecup) and vigorous old age, his active experiences in 
the insurrections both of 1716 and 1745. He had, it 
appears, attracted Walter's attention and admiration at 
a very early date; for he speaks of having "seen him in 
arms " and heard him "exult in the prospect of drawing 
his claymore once more before he died," when Paul Jones 
threatened a descent on Edinburgh; which transaction 
occurred in September, 1779. Invemahyle, as Scott 
adds, was the only person who seemed to have retained 
possession of his cool senses at the period of that dis- 
graeeful alarm, and offered the magistrates to collect at 
many Highlanders as would suffice for cutting off any 
part of the pirate's crew that might venture, in quest of 
plunder, into a city full of high houses and narrow lanes, 
and every way well calculated for defence. The eager 
delight with which the young apprentice now listened to 
the tales of this fine old man's early days produced an 
invitation to his residence among the mountains; and 
to this excursion he probably devoted the few weeks of an 
autumnal vacation — whether in 1786 or 1787 it is of no 
great consequence to ascertain. 

In the Introduction to one of his Novels he has pre- 
served a vivid picture of his sensations when the vale of 

matocon msowtion tbt chart 

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Perth first burst on his view, in the coarse of his progreiis 
to Invemahyle, and the description has made classical 
ground of die Wicka of Baiglie, the spot from which 
that beautiful landscape was surveyed. "Childish won- 
der, indeed," he says, "was an ingredient in my delight, 
for I was not above fifteen years old, and as this had 
been the first excursion which I was permitted to make 
on a pony of my own, I also experienced the glow of in- 
dependence, mingled with that degree of anxiety which 
the most conceited boy feels when he is first abandoned 
to his own undirected counsels. I recollect pulling up 
the reins without meaning to do so, and gazing on the 
scene before me as if I had been afraid it would shift, 
like those in a ^Jieatre, befoce I could distinctly observe 
its different parts, or convince myself that what I saw 
was real. Since that hour the recollection of that inimi- 
table landscape has possessed the strongest influence over 
my mind, and retained its place as a memorable thing, 
while much that was influential on my own fortunes has 
fled from my recollection." So speaks the poet; and 
who will not recognize his habitual modesty in thus 
undervaluing, as uninfluential in comparison with some 
affair of worldly business, the ineffaceable impression 
thus stamped on the glowing imagination of his boyhood? 
1 need not quote the numerous passages scattered over 
his writings, both early and late, in which he dwells with 
fond affection on the diivalrous oharaotor of Invemahyle 
— the delight with which he heard the veteran describe 
his broadsword duel with Bob Boy — his campaigns with 
Mar and Charles Edward — and his long seclusion (as 
pictured in the story of Bradwardine) within a rooky cave 
situated not far from hia own house, while it was garri- 
soned by a party of English soldiers, after the battle of 
Culloden, Here, too, still survived the tmsty henchman 
who had attended the chieftain in many a bloody field 
and perilous escape, the same "grim-looking old High- 
lander" who was in the act of cutting down Colonel 


Whitefoord with his Loohaber aze at Prestonpans when 
hi» master arrested the blow— an incident to which In- 
vemahyle owed his life, and we are indebted for another 
of the most striking pages in Wayerley. 

I have often heard Scott mention some carious par- 
ticulars of his first visit to the remote fastness of onrof 
these Highland friends; but whether he told the stojy of 
Livernahyle, or of one of his own relations of the Clan 
CampbeU, I do not recoUect; I rather think the latter 
was the case. On reaching the brow of a bleak eminence 
overhanging the primitive tower and its tiny patoh of 
cultivated ground, he found his host and three sons, and 
perhaps half-a-dozen attendant gaiies, aU stretohed half 
asleep in their tartans upon the heath, with guns and 
dogs, and a profusion of game about them; while in the 
courtyard, far below, appeared a company of women ac- 
tively engaged in loading a cart with manure. The 
stranger was not a HtUe astonished when he discovered 
on descending from the height, that among these indus- 
tnous females were the laud's own lady, and two or three 
of her daughters; but they seemed quite unconscious of 
having been detected in an occupation unsuitable to tieir 
rank — retired presently to their "bowers," and when 
they reappeared in other dresses, retained no traces of 
their morning's work, except complexions glowing with 
v-'fV™^ freshness, for one evening of which many a 
^gh-bred beauty would have bartered half her diamonds. 
Ue found the young ladies not ill informed, and exceed- 
mgly agreeable; and the song and the dance seemed to form 
the mvariable termination of their busy days. I must 
not for^t his admiration at the principal article of thU 

^1 ^i f°""*' """^'y- " gigantio ^agffis, borne 
mto the hall m a wicker basket by two half -naked Celts, 
while the piper strutted fiercely behind them, blowine 
a tempest of dissonance. 

These Highland visits were repeated ahnost every 
summer for several successive years, and perhaps even 




the Brst of them was in some degree connected with his 
professional business. At all events, it was to his allot- 
ted task of enforcing the execution of a legal instrument 
against some Ma«larens, refractory tenants of Stewart 
of Appin, brother-in-Uw to Invemahyle, that Scott owed 
his introduction to the scenery of The Lady of the Lake. 
"An escort of a sergeant and sii men," he says, "was 
obtained from a Highland regiment lying in Stirling, 
and the author, then a Writer's Apprentice, equivalent to 
the honorable situation of an attorney's cleik, was in- 
vested with the superintendence of the expedition, with 
directions to see that the messenger discharged his duty 
fully, and that the gallant sergeant did not exceed his 
part by committing violence or plunder. And thus it 
happened, oddly enough, that the author first entered 
the romantic scenery of Loch Katrine, of which he may 
perhaps say he has somewhat extended the reputation, 
riding in all the dignity of danger, with a front and rear 
guard, and loaded arms. The sergeant was absolutely a 
Highland Sergeant Kite, full of stories of Bob Roy and 
of himself, and a very good companion. We experienced 
no interruption whatever, and when we came to Invementy, 
found the house deserted. We took up our quarters for 
the night, and used some of the victuals which we found 
there. The Maclarens, who probably had never thought 
of any serious opposition, went to America, where, hav- 
ing had some slight share in removing them from their 
panpera regno, I sincerely hope they prospered."* 

That he entered with ready zeal into such professional 
business as inftrred Highland expeditions with comrades 
who had known Kob Roy, no one will think strange ; but 
more than one of his biographers allege that in the ordi- 
nary indoor fagging of die chamber in George's Square, 
he was always an unwilling, and rarely an efficient assist- 
ant. Their addition, that he often played chess with 
one of his companions in the office, and had to conceal 
I Inttodiution to Sob Boy. 


the board with precipitation when Uie old «nUeman'« 
fo»t.tep, were heard on the ,tairca», i,, I do^ot d"^t 
true, and we may remember along with it hi, oZiZ 
i|uraat.on that hU father was «.metime, poringT U 

prenhee. ,„ppo«Kl h^ ^ b« j ;„ j^.^^^ "P^ 

orSta.r . deo.s.on,. Bnt the Memoir of 1808, «, c^- 
d.d-mdeed mo.-e than oandid-a» t» many jnvenile 
^gjJanfae,, contain, no confession that suppirts the 
broad assertion to which I have alluded; nor "ri it 

«nr„'f ^L"*? t" "^*^"''" ^" "» f"""". -^^^^t 
rif duty which seems to have been inhe ent inU, 
^ter, and, h«tly. with the evidence of , most seveTe 
trainmg m mdust.7 which the habits of his aft-.JiJI 
p~«nted. It .s at aU de«,rving of seriou. aco. . ion 
tts mere handwntmg, indeed, continued, dun„g the 

Tw h! ^"T: ,*° 5°"^ '°°" -triking ana irresistible 
proof how completely he must hav. - itteri himself for 
some ve^r considerable period to mechanical di<S- 

months of th., humble toil, a. distinctly as the illegibk 

W hlTl l""^" "*''* *" ""' "If-masLhip from fte 
hour that he left Harrow. There are some lijtle teehni- 
cal tacks, such as no gentleman who has not been sub- 
jeoted to a similar regimen ever can fall into, which he 
practised invariably whUe composing his poe trT^^which 
^pear not unfrequently on the MSS^f bSleYt'^X 
e^ntn'Jr" • ""^ *^r ''"P' ™t»«ti™ly from his pen 

W^™ I aUude particularly Ik. a sort of flourish at thi 
bottm of tie pi^, originally, I presume, adopted in 

hne between the legitimate text and the attesting sigia- 
tare. He was quite sensible that this ornament might 
as weU be dispensed with; and his family often heid 
bm mutter, after involuntarily performing it, "There 
goes the old shop again I " ^ ' 






I dwell on this matter beoauae it was always bis favor- 
ite tenet, in contradiction to wliat he called the cant of 
sonneteers, that there is no necessary connection between 
genius and an aversion or contempt for any of the com- 
mon duties of life; he thought, on the contrary, that to 
spend some fair portion of every day in any matter of 
fact occupation is good for the higher faculties themselves 
in tbe upshot. In a word, from beginning to end, he 
piqued himself on being a man of business ; and did — 
with one sad and memorable exception — whatever the 
ordinary course of things threw in his way, in exactly 
the businesslike fashion which might have been expected 
from the son of a thoroughbred old Clerk to the Signet, 
who had never deserted his father's profession. 

In the winter of 1788, however, his apprentice habits 
were exposed to a new danger; and from that date I 
believe them to have undergone a considerable change. 
He was then sent to attend the lectures of the Professor 
of Civil Law in the University, this course forming part 
of the usual professional education of Writers to the Sig- 
net, as well as of Advocates. For some time his com- 
panions, when in Edinbnrgh, had been chiefly, almost 
solely, his brother-apprentices and the clerks in his 
father's office. He had latterly seen comparatively little 
even of the better of his old High School friends, such 
as Ferguson and Irving— for though both of these also 
were writer's apprentices, they had been indentured to 
other masters, and each had naturally formed new inti- 
macies within his own chamber. The Civil Law class 
brought him again into daily contact with both Irving 
and Ferguson, as well as others of his earlier acquaint- 
ance of the higher ranks; but it also led him into the 
society of some young gentlemen previously unknown to 
him, who had from the outset been destined for the Bar, 
and whose conversation, tinctured with certain prejudices 
natur-d to scions of what he calls in Eedgauntlet the 
Scottish noblesse de la robe, soon banished from his mind 




every thought of ul.^ .tely adhering to the seeondary 
branch of the law. He found these future barristera 
cultivating general literature, without the least appre- 
hension that such elegant pursuits could be regarded by 
any one as interfering with the proper studies of their 
professional career; jusdy believing, on the contrary, 
that for the higher class of forensic exertion some ac- 
quamtance with ahnost every branch of science and let- 
ters is a necessary preparative. He contrasted their 
liberal aspirations, and the encouragement which these 
received in their domestic circles, with the narrower 
views which predominated in his own home; and resolved 
to gratify his ambition by adopting a most precarious 
walk in life, instead of adhering t» that in which he 
might have counted with perfect security on the early 
attainment of pecuniary independence. This resolution 
appears to have been foreseen by his father, long before 
It was announced in terms; and the handsome manner 
m which the old gentleman conducted himself upon the 
occasion is remembered with dutiful gratitude in the 
preceding Autobiography. 

The most important of these new alliances was the in- 
timate friendship which he now formed with Mr. John 
Irving's near relation, William Clerk of Eldin, of whow 
powerful talents and extensive accomplishments we shall 
hereafter meet with many enthusiastic notices. It wao 
in company with this gentleman that he entered the de- 
bating societies described in his Memoir; through him 
he soon became linked in the closest intimacy with George 
Cranstoun (now Lord Corehouse), George Abercromby 
(now Lord Abercromby), John James £dmonstone> of 
Newton (whose mother was sister of Sir Ealph Aber- 
crombyX Patrick Murray of Simprim, Sir Patrick Mur- 
ray of Oohtertyre, and a group of other young men, all 
high in birth and connection, and all remarkable in early 
life for the qualities which afterwards led them to emi- 
1 Mr. EdmoDstoDe died 29tli April, 1840. — (1848.) 



nent station, or adorned it. The introduction to their 
ieveral families is alluded to by Scott aa having opened 
to him abundantly certain advantages, which no one could 
have been more qualified to improve, but from which he 
had hitherto been in great measure debarred in conse- 
quence of the retired habits of his parents. 

Mr. Clerk says that he had been struck from the first 
day he entered the Civil Law class-room with something 
odd and remarkable in Soott's appearance: what this 
something was he cannot now reo^dl, but he remembers 
telling his companion some time afterwards that he 
thought he looked like a,Aau«4ot/ player. Scott was 
amused with this notion, as he had never touched a musi- 
cal instrument of any kind; but I fancy his friend had 
been watching a certain noticeable but altogether inde- 
scribable play of the upper lip when in an abstracted 
mood. He rallied Walter, he says, during one of their 
first evening walks together, on the slovenliness of hia 
dress: he wore a pair of corduroy breeches, much glazed 
by the rubbing of his staff, which he immediately flour- 
ished — and said, "They be good enough for drinking in 
— let us go and have some oysters in the Covenant 

Convivial habits were then indulged among the young 
men of Edinburfrli, whether students of law, solicitors, 
or barristers, to an extent now happily unknown; and 
this anecdote recalls some striking hints on that sub- 
ject which occur in Scott's brief Autobiography. That 
he partook profusely in the juvenile bacchanalia of that 
day, and continued to take a plentiful share in such jol- 
lities down to the time of his marriage, are facts worthy 
of being distinctly stated; for no man in mature life was 
more habitually averse to every sort of intemperance. 
He could, when I first knew him, swallow a great quM- 
tity of wine without being at all visibly disordered by it; 
but nothing short of some very particular occasion could 
ever induce him to put this strength of head to a trial; 




™f L'T ^^ V"?. """' *'""" "'*«' "o^* "WcL no 
onein the day. of hi. youthful temptation can be the 
wo«e for remembering: - "Depend upon it, of all vice., 
drmking « the mo.t incompatible with greatness." 
„* wf ^ Tf "* '"' """"""tion - the strange yariety 

CkrkW^.- J»» memoir -riveted more and more 
Uerk. attention, and commanded the wonder of all hi. 
lZ^'Lt\-Lf^ extraordinary gift. Scott him«S 
th™^ . "i* ™'"«'°»'i O' at least he impressed 

ft^tlv J1,Ji^°'"°? '"""''"'y K^'to' eonsequence- 
(exactly a, had been the case with him in the days of the 
Cowgate Port and the kittle nine steps) _ to fcato of 
personal agility and prowe,.. William Clerk's b™l, 
James a midshiomnn in the navy, happened to come 
home from a cruise in the Mediterranean shortly after 
this acquaintance began, and Scott and the sailor became 
almost at sight "sworn brothers." In order to complet^ 
h« time mider the late Sir Alexander Coch™ne,'lho 
was then on the .tation, James Clerk obtain;! the 
^mmand of a lugger, and the young friends oft n made 
httk excursions to sea with him. "The first time Scott 
eti^V "f" "'" ^™"° <^'«*' "'« -et before 
mortly midshipmen, and strangers to him, and our host 
mtroducmg h.s landsmen guests mid, ' My brother you 
W gentlemen; a. for Mr. Scott, mayhap you Ly 
take hm. for a poor luniter, but he is the fiL to begi^ 

Armed with «)me of the expletive, of Tom Pipes."' 
When, many year, afterwards, Clerk read The Krate. 

the tab e-talk of this lugger; but the author has .inoe 



traced some of the mort itriking paasagea in that novel 
to hi» recollection of the almoit childish period when he 
hung on his own brother Robert's stories about Kodney's 
battles and the haunted Iceyi of the West Indies. 

One momiug Scott oaUed on Clerk, and, exhibiting 
his stick all cut and marked, told him he had been at- 
tacked in the streeta the night before by three fellows, 
against whom he had defended himself for an hour. 
"By Shrewsbury clock?" said his friend. "No," said 
Soott, smiling, "by the Iron." But thenceforth, adds 
Mr. Clerk, and for twenty years after, he called his 
walking stick by the name of "Shrewsbury." 

With these oomraaes Scott now resumed, and pushed 
to a much greater extent, his early habits of wandering 
over the country in quest of castles and other remains of 
antiquity, his passion for which derived a new impulse 
from the conversation of the celebrated John Clerk of 
Eldin,! the father of his friend. William Clerk well re- 
members his father telling a story which was introduced 
in due time in The Antiquary. While he was visiting 
his grandfather. Sir John Qerk, at DumoriefE, in Dum- 
fries-shire, many years before this time, the old Baronet 
carried some English virtuosos to see a supposed Boman 
camp; and on his exclaiming at a particular spot, "This 
I take to have been the Fnetorinm," a herdsman who 
stood by answered, "Pnetorium here Pnetorium there, 
I made it wi' a flaughter spade."' Many traits of the 
elder Clerk were, his son has no doubt, embroidered on 
the character of George Constable in the composition of 
Jonathan Oldbuck. The old gentleman's enthusiasm 
for antiquities was often played on by these young 
friends, but more effectually by his eldest son, John 
Clerk (Lord Eldin), who, having a great genius for art, 
used to amuse himself with manufacturing mutilated 
heads, which, after being bnried for a convenient time in 

1 Anthorof tkefamooaEwiToniUTidiiigaMLiiieiiiSra-figliU. 

* Compare Tht Antiquary, ohap. iT. 




the ground, wen acoido^^y diMovered in lome fortn- 
n«te W. «nd received by tlie laird with gr<»t honor u 
valuable acoeuioni to his muMum.' 

On a fljhing Mounion to a loch near Howgate. omonir 
th. Moorfoot Hill,, Scott. Clerk. Irving, aud Tber* 
crom'/y ,pen( the night at a Uttle publio-houw kept by 

Tm^uII:. ^«r' ^•- ^^^ 8»- "o"""'' Well w« 
pi-bbdjed. Clerk, meeting Scott in the rtreet, ob,erved. 

lljit • an odd name; .urely I have met with it wme- 
where before." Soott .mUed, «Ud, "Don't you remem- 
ber Howgate?" and pa«ed on. The muae alone, how- 
ever, waa taken from the Howgate hoiteu. 

At one of their drinking bout, of those days Willuim 
J^lerli, bir P. Murray, Edmoctone, and Abercrombv, 
bemg of the party. Hie .itting waa prolonged to a very 
Ute hour, and Scott feU adeep. When he awoke, hU 
friend, aucoeeded in convincing him that he had suns a 
«ng in tie oourw of the evening, and ,ung it extremely 
weU. How must tlie« gentlemen have chuckled when 
they read Frank Osbaldistone', account of hi, revel, in 
the old hJlI "It b»> even been reported by malignem 
that I ,ung a King while under thi, vinous influencej but 
M 1 remember nothing of it, and never attempted to 
turn a tune m aU my life, eif her before or since. I would 
wmmgly hope there is no actual foundation for the oal- 

On one of his first long walks with Clerk and other, 
of the same set, their pace, being about four mile, an 
hour, wa, foimd ratl.»r too much for Scott, and he offered 
to contrwt for U,».., which measmc was thenceforth 
considered a, the legal one. At this rate they o' ,n con- 
tmued to wander from five in the mommg tiU eight in 

»«»oc,.t, rf Ant«„«e, - ,a who* eoll«*ion, no doubt, it mj rtUl h. 
' Sai Bo), ohap. lii 

,34 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. 17 

the •Tcning, halting for moh refiethment at mid-day ai 
any village alebouaa might afford. On many ocoa«ion8, 
however, they had itretohed lo far into the country, that 
they were obliged to be abMnt from home all night; and 
though great wa» the alarm which the flnt occurrence of 
thU »ort created in George'i Square, the family eoon got 
aoouBtomed to inch thingt, and little notice was taken, 
even though Walter remained away for the better part 
of a week. I have hoard him Uugh heartily over the 
reoollection» of one protracted excursion, towards the 
close of which the party found themselves a long day's 
walk — thirty miles, I think — from Edinburgh, without 
a single sixpence left among them. "We were put to 
our shifts," said he; "but we asked every now and then 
at a cottage door for a drink of water; and one or two 
of the good-wives, observing our worn-out looks, brought 
forth milk in pUce of water — so with that, and hipe and 
haws, we came in little the worse." His father met him 
with some impatient questions as to what he had been 
living on so long, for the old man well knew how scantily 
his pocket was supplied. "Pretty much like the young 
ravens," answered he ; "I only wished I had been as good 
a player on the flute as poor George Primrose in The 
Vicar of Wakefield. If I had his art 1 should like no- 
thing better than to tramp like him from cottage to cot- 
tage over the worU."— "I doubt," said the grave Clerk 
to the Signet, "I greatly doubt, sir, you were bom for 
nae better than a gangrd terape gut." Some allusions 
to reproaches of this kind occur in the Memoir; and 
we shall find others in letters subsequent to his admission 
at the Bar.' . 

The debating club formed among these young friends 

> After th« oMtioiia f •thei hsd hsa fmtlur opportimltT of olwrrtag bis 
■on'l proceedings We wife happened one night to eipre« eome "•^"7 °» 
the protTMted abeence o« Welter ud hi. brother Thomee. My deer 
Annie," inid the old men, " Tom le with Widter tbi. time ; nnd hnre yon 
not jet pereeired that whererer Welter goen, be i> pretty lure to 8nd bil 
bnad battered on both dd« ? " — rrom Mn. Thmat Scott. — (1838.) 

• '788 DEBATING CLUBS .jj 

Wy • and ., not to U confound*! with the more oelZ 
b«ted SpecuUtire Society, which Scott did noHl f„; 
two „u» later. At I%e Literary he .poke f JZt v 

» worW of knowledge to produce; but he had not T- 
qu«d the art of arranging it to the be.t JTantalt 
' ■""'""'"I "ddrew; nor, indeed, did he ever. I tWui 
except under the influence of .trong per»na f Jel nc 

rhil» 'Tr' '""" ""^ f'^'"' hiTfuinonfld nf; 

m h.n>«lf. e^,b.t upon any occa.ion the power, of oral 
eloquence. H.. antiquarian information, however. ,„n. 
plied many m ,ntere.ting feature i- the« evening, if 
d.^u«.on He had alre«ly dalb in Anglo-S^on 

PopuUr Poetry, he allude, to thew atudie. „ having 
facihtoted hi. acqui,ition of German: -But he wa, c' »» 
e,peo.aUy in Fordon and Wyntoun. and all th^" 
chromolci ^d hi. friend, rewarded him by the ho. ,. 
able title of Dunt Scotut. / "■" no 

A .mailer Moiety, formed with leu ambition, view, 
ongmated in a ride to Pennycuik. the Mat of the head 

t^^^: 'r"'- ^^T..'^^' hcpitalitie. are 
recorded m the Memoir. Thi, wa, called, by way of 
excellence. The Club, and I believe it i. continued ulder 
^e «me name to thU day. Here, too. Walter had hi, 
jobriqnet, and-hi, corduroy breeche,, I pre,ume. not 
being a. yet worn out — it waa Colond Grogg.i 

in C«rubb«'. Clo«, from whioh no. of then. nraX^SZSTd t .^ 



Meantime he had not broken up h» connection witfi 
Bosebank; he appears to have spent several weeks in the 
autmnn, both of 1788 and 1789, under his uncle s roof ; 
and it was, I think, of his journey thither, in the kst 
named year, that he used to teU an anecdote, which 1 
shaU here set down- how shorn, ahis, of all the acces- 
series that gave it life when he recited it. Callmg, be- 
fore he set out, on one of the ancient spinsters of his 
family, to inquire if she had any message for Kelso, she 
retire d, and presently placed in his hands a packet of 
some bulk and weight, which required, she said, verj- 
particular attention. He took it without eiaminmg the 
address, and carried it in his pocket next day, not at aU 
to the lightening of a forty miles' ride in August. On 
his arrival, it turned out to contain one of the old lady a 
pattens, sealed up for a particular cobbler in Kelso, and 
accompanied with fourpence to pay for mending it, and 
special directions that it might be brought back to her 
by the same economical conveyance. 

It will be seen from the following letter, the earliest 
of Scott's writing that has fallen into my hands, that 
professional business had some share in this excursion 
to Kelso; but I consider with more interest the brief 
allusion to a day at Sandy-Knowe: — 

m.mb.« .»., i. o;u»V.r, nir..l«. - ■«., Sir W^Sr«,t, Mr. WUlto 
Clerk, Sii A. FerguKin, Mr. June. Bdmonrtone, Mr. Georg. Ab«roij.mby 
(Lorf Ab.«rombj), Mr. D. Bojl. (now Lori J«f«,-a,rk) I^. J^e. 
GlMford (AdyoMt.), Mr. Jmm.»on (Clerk of Sewm), Mr. Darid 
MonypoDBj (Lord RtmUl,), Mr. Kobort D.Tid«.n (?"««-"' °« ff" *« 
Gl«^), Sir won™ Bm, B»rt., Sir Patrick M«my, B.r.., Band Bo- 
g^lJk Rertoo), Mr. Mor-y of Simprim, Mr. Montoith of Cl».bum, 
3fr. ArckOdd MiUfr (»» of Prof«»or Miller), Baron *«)«»,. H^OT^ 
rUui i the Honor.ble Komo. D<Mgla,, rfterward. E«l of Selkirk, - aod 
John Irving. Except the «« who«> n«ne. .re '"^"^'of' "^^^ 
members Ke nU rtiU M&n." - LOUrfim Mr. Irvin,, dated 29th Septem- 
ber, 1830. 






BosiBAKK, 5tli Septembn, 1788. 
Deab Mothee, — I was favored with your letter, and 
send you Anne's stockings along with this: I would have 
sent them last week, but had some expectations of a pri- 
vate opportunity. I have been very happy for this fort- 
night; we have some plan or other for every day. Last 
week my uncle, my cousin WiUiam,! and I, rode to 
Smailhohn, and from thence walked to Sandy-Knowe 
Craigs, where we spent the whole day, and made a very 
heMty dinner by the side of the Orderlaw WeU, on some 
cold beef and bread and cheese: we had also a smaU 
case-bottle of mm to make grog with, which we drank to 
the Sandy-Knowe bairns, and all their connections. 
This jaunt gave me much pleasure, and had I time, I 
would give you a more full account of it. 

The fishing has been hitherto but indifferent, and I 
fear I shaU not be able to accomplish my promise with 
regard to the wild ducks. I was out on Friday, and only 
saw three. I may probably, however, send you a hare, 
as my imole has got a present of two greyhounds from 
°" "■ MacDougaU, and as he has a license, only waits 
tiUthe com is off the ground to commence coursing. Be 
it known to yon, however, I am not altogether employed 
m amusements, for I have got two or three clients besides 
my uncle, and am busy drawing tacks and contracts, — 
not, however, of marriage. I am in a fair way of mak- 
mg money, if I stay here long. 

Here I have written a pretty long letter, and nothing 
mit; but you know writing to one's friends is the next 
thmg to seeing them. My love to my father and the 
boys, from. Dear Mother, your dutiful and affectionate 
'*"'• Walteb Scott. 

■ The praent Laiid of Biabimi. 



It appeals from James Ballantyne's Tiumoranda, that 
having been veiy early bound apprentice to a solicitor in 
Kelso, he had no intercourse with Scott during the three 
or four years that followed their oompanionship at the 
school of Lancelot Whale; but Ballantyne was now sent 
to spend a winter in Edinburgh, for the completion of 
his professional education, and i:^ the course of his attend- 
ance on the Scots Law class, became a member of a 
young Teviotdale club, where Walter Scott seldom failed 
to make his appearance. They supped together, it seems, 
once a month; and here, as in the associations above 
mentioned, good fellowship was often pushed beyond the 
limits of modem indulgence.^ The strict intimacy be- 
tween Scott and Ballantyne was not at this time renewed, 
— their avocations prevented it, — but the latter was no 
nninterested observer of his old comrade's bearing on 
this new scene. "Upon all these occasions," he says, 
"one of the principal features of his character was dis- 
played as conspicuously as I believe it ever was at any 
later period. This was the remarkable ascendency he 
never failed to exhibit among his young companions, and 
which appeared to arise from their involuntary and un- 
conscious submission to the same firmness of understand- 
ing, and gentle exercise of it, which produced the same 
effects throughout his after-life. Where there was al- 
ways a good deal of drinking, there was of course now 
and then a good deal of quarrelling. But three words 
from Walter Scott never failed to put all such propensi- 
ties to quietness." 

Mr. Ballantyne's account of his friend's peace-making 
exertions at this club may seem a little at variance with 
some preceding detaik. There is a difference, however, 
between encouraging quarrels in the bosom of a convivial 
party, end taking a fair part in a row between one's own 
party and another. But Ballantyne adds, that at The 
Tedotdale, Scott was always remarkable for being the 
most temperate of the set; and if the club consisted 




hrioJf^r^'' ^^^o^^o Itself, wmewhat in- 
rf 2^ J^°","5 *""'' ""^ '*»*'<"'• l"" carefulness both 
of sobnety and decorum at their meetings was but an^ 
other feature of his unchanged and unchafgeable cW 

<^H W °'m ' """y °'«"7 »»PP«" of this time Walter 
Scott had said something, of which, on ^collecting him- 
»U next morning, he was sensible that his friend Clerk 
might have rea«,n to complain. He sent him accord- 
mgly a note apologctical, which has by some accident 
been preserved, and which I am sure every readTr wHl 
^: S:!""' ~idering well worthy of^p«:'r::tiT„ 
In .t Scott contaves to make use of both his own club 
designations, and addresses his friend by another of the 
«me order, which Clerk had received in consequence of 
comparing himself „n some forgotten ocoasirtoS^r 
« fou!™s?- ^^^- "^^ •'^"-^^^0 document is 


Cokntf p ^°T' T I "" '""y *° ^^ t^t our friend 
Colonel Grogg has behaved with a very undue degree 

voJZ, • «0''"°o«l was a gross misconception of 
your expressions. As the Colonel, though a mmtary 
man, js not too haughty to acknowledge an error he hS 

which I am convinced you will accept from yours ever, 

Given .t Ca«fe Tham, ^^^^ ScOTUS. 


fijf '3°"''J„P«"'''»P» J"*™ mentioned sooner that when 
this new alliance was observed with considerablVieal 

prentices, the gaudp of the chamber, this feeling show^ 

140 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. i8 

itself in Tarious way«, and when the oloth was drawn, 
Walter rose and asked what was meant. "Well," said 
one of the lads, "since you will have it out, you are cut- 
ting your old friends for the sake of Clerk and some 
more of these dons that look down on the like of us." 
"Gentlemen," answered Scott, "I will never cut any 
man unless I detect him in sooundrelUm; but I know 
not what right any of you have to interfere with my 
hoice of my company. If any one thought I had m- 
iured him, be would have done weU to ask an explanation 
in a more private manner. As it is, I fairly own, that 
though I like many of you very much, and have long 
done so, I think WUliam Clerk weU worth you aU put 
together." The senior in the chair was wise enough to 
laugh, and the evening passed oft without further dis- 

As one effect of his office education, Scott soon began 
to preserve in regular files the letters addressed to him; 
and from the style and tone of such letters, as Mr. 
Southey observes in h-s Life of Cowper, a man's charac- 
ter may often be gathered even more surely than from 
those written by himself. The first series of any consid- 
erable extent in his collection includes letters dated as 
far back as 1786, and proceeds, with not many interrup- 
tions, down beyond the period when his fame had been 
established. I regret, that from the delicate nature of the 
transactions chiefly dwelt upon in the earlier of these 
communications, I dare not make a free use of them ; but 
I feel it my duty to record the strong impression tiiey 
have left on my own mind of high generosity of affection, 
coupled with cahn judgment, and persev^.jnoe in weU- 
doing, on the part of the stripling Scott. To these 
indeed every line in the collection bears pregnant testi- 
mony. A young gentleman, bom of good family, and 
heir to a tolerable fortune, is sent to Edinburgh College, 
and is seen partaking, along with Scott, through several 
apparently happy and careless years, of the studies and 

^uj«menta of which the ^„ n..y by thi. t^e have 
f^ed an adequate notion. By degree,, from the uXl 

made hun a father, then first begin, to opeVhifeye, to 
the fnU conrequenoes of hia mad career Hb .„!J f^ . 

and will not now abandon him in hU "penitent lowlinew 

mvolTed in the punLhment of his errors." I find Scott 

3h'. „ T7''° ."""^ '""S •»*<>" observed this 
»P^ the eonn«rtion -to intercede with the unfortu- 

r„™?t^ °L^^" '*°**'"*- The result is that he is 
furnished with the ,«u.ty means of removing himseU to 

drudge^ of a very humble occupation, but by deerees 
^bhrfies for himself a new chai^ter, "whichTomS 
the anxious mterest of strangers,— and I find tbZ 
rt^igers, particuh^ly a benevolent and venerabirdety 
™m, addressing, on his behalf, without his privacy, the 
So'Tr* " ^"^ T^"'" *° «"> world, whom the 
S wl^ t r ™°T '""iP''»*«<' to the™ <>« "uniting 
wifn T f ^«? °* ^""^ '^th the sense of years "i 
whose hair he h^, "from the day he left England, worn 
next his heart." Just at the time when this kpp^ 

dtd 1h™?' '" S""!*^* "' "^ «»■!•« f«th?r'C 
died suddenly, and, after all, intestate; he has actuaUy 

,42 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. i8 

been taking Bteps to aseerUm the trnth of »!»<»"»* 
r moment when the American de.patoh » l»'d ""h" 
table. I leave the reader to gue« with what pleMure 
Scott has to oommnnicato the intelUgenoe that hi. repent- 
ant and reformed friend may return to take P?«"»"™ °« 
his inheritance. The letters before me contain touching 
Z^ot their meeting-of Walter's first visit to the 
Lcient hall, where a happy family are »»« »»r™*?;;: 
and of the affectionately respectful »en»e «hich his fnend 
retained ever afterwards of all that he had done for hm, 
S^e season of his struggles. But what a grjevoua 1»» 
is Scott's part of this correspondence I I find the com- 
rt^e over^d over again expressing hi. admiration of 
the letters in which Scott described to hmi his e»ly *»r 
both in the Highlands and the Border dales: I find him 
prophesying f4m them, as early as 1789, "one day your 
Ln wiU make you famous," -and "ke'^y- '?/™} 
Mging him to concentrate lus ambition on a "history of 

^ThiTyoung gentleman appears to have had a decided 
turn for literature; and, though in his earlier ep«tles he 
makes no allusion to Scott as ever dabbling m rhyme, he 
often inserts verses of his own, some of which are not 
without merit. There is a long lot^' " ^"Sf "J^,^?^ 
1788, descriptive of a ramble from Edinburgh to Carhs e 
-of which I may quote the opening lines, as a sample 
of he simple habits of these young people: — 

" Al four in «» momiiig, I won't 1m too •me. 
Yet, tt rigkt I Mnumlxp me, that wu the honr, 
When trith Ferpi«ni, lUnaay, Uld Jone., m, Md jou. 
From Anld Reekie I lonthwiiid my «>ute did puisne. 
But two ot tl.e dog. (jet God We., them, I »id) 
Grew ti«d, ».d but Ht me hJf w.y to Ir*""* •• 
While Jon«^ you, ».d I, Wnt, '"t™"*"''' *°"!'' 
And .t Symond.'. f»«ted on P"^^"^.^'^^ 
Where I, w».ti»g > tf»p«»e, you lugged out . .hUlmg, 
And prid for me too, though I WMimort nnwdbng. 
1 Aliaootf.lette»to the fri«.d h«. Jluded to « «id to hnr. per- 
khed in an accident*! fin. 


Wa pwtoa — U ran I m iMdf to ndnl — 
Join Md yon to JO koiu— I to go to tho dnSL" 

In a letter of later date, describing the adventurer's 
captiTOtion with the cottage maiden whom he afterwards 
married, there are some lines of a very different stamp. 
This couplet at least seems to me exquisite : — 

" Lowly bMnty, daw friend, buau with primitin gnat 
And 't i. iiuoonoo' hU pUyi tlu logne in her faoo." 

I find in another letter of this collection — and it is 
among the first of the series — the following passage: — 
"Your Quixotism, dear Walter, was highly oharaoteris- 
tic. From the description of the blooming fair, as she 
appeared when she lowered her manteau vert, I am hope- 
ful you have not dropt the acquaintance. At least I am 
certain some of our more rakish friends would have been 
glad enough of such an introduction." This hint I can- 
not help connecting with the first scene of Tke Lady 
Green ManUe in Redgauntlet; but indeed I could easily 
trace many more coincidences between these letters and 
that novel, though at the same time I have no sort of 
doubt that William Clerk was, in the main, Danie 
Latimer, while Scott himself unquestionably sat for his 
own picture in young Alan Fairford. 

The allusion to "our more rakish friends" is in keep- 
ms with the whole strain of this juvenUe correspondence. 
ITiroughout there occurs no coarse or even jocular sug- 
gestion as to the conduct of Scott in that particular, as 
to which most youths of his then age are so apt to lay up 
stores of self-reproach. In this season of hot and im- 
petuons blood he may not have escaped quite blameless, 
but I have the concurrent testimony of all the most inti- 
mate Mnong his surviving associates, that he was re- 
markably free from such indiscretions! that while his 
high sense of honor shielded him from the remotest 
dream of tampering with female innocence, he had an 
mstinctive delicacy about him which made him recoil 
with utter disgust from low and vulgar debaucheries 


Hit friend», I hmve hemd more than one of them oonfew, 
used often to nOly him on the coldnou of hi« nature. By 
degree! they duoovered that he had, from almost the 
dawn of the passions, cherished a secret att»x:hment, 
which continued, through all the most perilous stage of 
life, to act as a romantic charm in safeguard of virtue. 
This — (however he may have disguised the story by 
mUing it up with the Quixotic adventure of the damsel 
in the Green ManUe)— this was the early and innocent 
affection to which we owe the tenderest pages, not only 
of Redgauntlet, but of The Lay of the Last Minstrel, and 
of Kokeby. In all of these works the heroine has certain 
distinctive features, drawn from one and the same haunt- 
ing dream of his manly adolescence. 

It was about 1790, according to Mr. William Clerk, 
that Suott was observed to Uy aside that carelessness, 
not to say slovenUness, as to dress, which used to furnish 
matter for joking at the beginning of their acquaintance. 
He now did himself more justice in these little matters, 
became fond of mixing in general female society, and, as 
his friend expresses it, "began to set up for a squire of 

His personal appearance at this time was not unen- 
gaging. A lady of high rank,» who well remembers him 
in the Old Assembly Rooms, says, "Young Walter Scott 
was a comely creature." He had outgrown the saUow- 
ness of early iU health, and had a fresh, brilliant com- 
plexion. His eyes were dear, open, and weU set, with 
a changeful radiance, to which teeth of the most perfect 
regularity and whiteness lent their assistance, while the 
noble expanse and elevation of the brow gave to the whole 
aspect a dignity far above the charm of mere features. 
His smUe was always deUghtful; and I can easily fancy 
the peculiar intermixture of tenderness and gravity, with 
playful innocent hilarity and humor in the expression, 
as being well calculated to fix a fair lady's eye. His 
1 Th« Uto Coonteti-IhioheM of Suthwland.— (1848.) 




figure, exceptiag the blemUh in one limb, mnit in thoee 
d«y. h.Te been eminenUy h«ndwmei taU, much above 
the uina^ .tandard, it wae oaet in the Tery mould of a 
young Herouk., the he«l «t on with .iiguU, pace, 
the Um»t «,d ehert after the trueet model of'SbTantiq™ 
the hand. del.«itely flniriied; the whole ouUine thai of 
Mtraordmuy vigor, without a. yet a touch of clum.ineM. 
When he had acquired a Uttle facility of manner, hi. 
conTer«t.on mu.t lave been .uch a. could have di,pen«d 
with any exterior advantage., and certainly brought .wift 
forgiveneM for the one unkindnew of nature. I have 
heard him, m talking of thi, part of hi. life, .ay, with 
an arch .iinphc.ty of look and i»ne wMoh tho» who were 
famJiar with him can fiU in for them wive. — "It wat 
a proud night with me *hen I firrt found that a pretty 
young woman could tliink it worth her while to .it and 
talk with me, hour after hour, in a comer of the ball- 
room, while aU the world were capering in our view " 

I believe, however, that the "pretty yomig woman" 
here .peoiaUy aUuded to had occupied hi. attention long 
before he ever appeared in the Edinburgh AsMmbly 
Koom., or any of hi. friends took note of him a. "«t. 
tmg up for a squire of dame.." I have been told that 
their acquaintance began in the Greyfriar.' Churehyard. 
where rain beginning to faU one Sunday as the congre! 
gahon were, Scott happened to offer hi. L- 
brella, and the tender being accepted, «, escorted her to 
h» residence, which preved to be at no great distance 
from his own.i To return frem church together had, it 
«e«ns, grown mto wmething like a custom, before they 
met m society, Mrs. Scott being of the party. It then 
^peared that she and the huly-s mother l«d been com! 
panions m their youth, though, both living secludedly, 


146 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. 19 

they h«d louoely i»ta e»oh other for muiy jtm; «nd 
the two mfttroM now nnewed their former interooime. 
But no aoqiuintanoe tppeare to have exiited between the 
fathers of the young people, until thinge had advanced in 
appearance farther than met the approbation of the good 
Ckrk to the Signet. 

Being aware that the young lady, who wai very highly 
connected, had pnwpeots of fortune far above hii ton'i, . 
the upright and honorable man conceived it hi» duty to 
give her parenta warning that he observed a degree of 
intimacy which, if allowed to go on, might involve the 
parties in future pain and disappointment. He had 
heard his son talk of a contempbted excursion to the 
part of the country in which his neighbor's estates lay, 
and not doubting that Walter's real object was different 
from that which he announced, introduced himself with 
a frank statement that he wished no such affair to pro- 
ceed without the express sanction of those most interested 
in the happiness of pe.'sons as yet too young to calculate 
consequences for themselves. The northern Baronet had 
heard nothing of the young apprentice's intended excur- 
sion, and appeared to treat the whole business very 
lightly. He thanked Mr. Scott for his scrupulous atten- 
tion—but added that he believed he was mistaken; and 
this paternal interference, which Walter did not hear of 
till long afterwards, produced no change in his relations 
with the object of his growing attachment. 

I have neither the power nor the wish to give in detail 
the sequel of this story. It is sufficient to say, that after 
he had through several long years nourished the dream 
of ac ultimate union with this lady, his hopes terminated 
in her being married to a gentleman of the highest char- 
acter, to whom some affectionate allusions occur in one 
of the greatest of his works, and who lived to act the 
part of a most generous friend to his early rival through- 
out the anxieties and distresses of 1826 and 1827. I 
have said enough for my purpose — which was only to 


J-'fDtn tne miuiaturt fy ConiMty 






tet of DiTid, Earl of L.».n .»J M i m. U ^^ •'*°" Leslie, dsoel,. 


■eem. to hsya i>«iii,_«7L i ^ ' "* """■™ted Uetee, Mu. Stuart 

wa. hardly more .h.„ . LdZd .he ^3 ' 7" ^."' ^ '° ""» *' 
to the Bar, though the meeliwin tk. ,SL ?■ !?" ''"'° '"''" «•""• 
ably Jready tak.^ pUo. S^"^" °"''™ C''°"'T"<1 h«i preb. 
«k. biographer n.,^., i„ S'.,.^.^*^,^"' ^"•?"'« " "■" -ded, a. 
Stuart ,a. a^ed to WUli-u fXI "™: ."^■'"l^"'' "I". Mi- 
of Pitaligo, .„ ™i„..t b«,^ ™^ ^hTrof I"! -f ^'f'T'^*" '"b" 
«.. Scott'e affectionate alluai^™ .„ i- , ' * ,'^'' °' ■" '"«»'* ^M- 
J^^n to the Call's oTiJrrrl^.l™' "" '»'»>«■'»«» 

" And one wboM uune ' --.ay not •«■ _ 
FornotminioM'tUnt , trw 
Kirinki tooner from Uu tonoh tlun he •• — 

*«th. Mr. Forbee raoceededb, T. if^ „^ ° "'"'* '^ "" '"'""'■ 

^i^r^^u^yS Hrd^?^- --^^^ 

"«»d«I that LocS^ »rrJ^ »nelond«l happineei Deaa Boyle h«i 
v.«d to maturity all ,.r. meu of uuZS ."uitT '^ •»"''•■» ■>«- 

''^^Tz^Vui^^'i^r' '1"^ "'' '■"«■« «-' «™ 

1899. A. the daughtefof ooe rf W.'° f '^'""* *"'"''» '" ■'"'y. 
the dec. of Sir w£n BwL ' ^ ' Jf'"?' "^ ''"^' '"•■"»« -^ 
«„u.thr^I°'^,^*'„^'^.?™'' -ia..ln.o.I,d8e, She 

::::;.^-.utrife.?£7£S^?— ^^ 




dsn 0* 1828 and 1827. , „, 

Skm.'. .ketch o« I-dy Sf»rt.Forl».,«»">« ""'r?"*"^^^ 
without m.rit, either » a .ork of art or M a hken.-, which «• .»e«'««l 
for the Memoir ol her joimge* lOB, Jamea Dand Forbea-J 




The two following letters may sufficiently illustrate 
the writer's every-day existence in the autumn of 1790. 
The first, addressed to his fidus Achates, has not a few 
indications of the vein of humor from which he afterwards 
drew so largely in his novels; and indeed, even in his last 
days, he delighted to tell the story of the Jedburgh 
bailies' boots. 


pbiscb's stbbet, edihbdbgh. 

BoflBBAHK, eth Augut. 1*790. 

Dear William, — Here am I, the weather, ac- .rding 
to your phrase, most bitchiferous; the Tweed, within 
twenty yards of the window at which I am writing, 
swelled from bank to brae, and roaring like thunder. It 
is paying you but a poor compliment to tell you I waited 
for such a day to perform my promise of writing, but 
you must consider that it is the point here to reserve such 
within^doors employment as we think most agreeable for 
bad weather, which in the country always wants some- 
thing to help it away. In fair weather we are far from 
wanting amusement, which at present is my business; on 
the contrary, every fair day has some plan of pleasure 
annexed to it, in so much that I can hardly believe I 
have been here above two days, so swiftly does the time 







pass away. You will ask how it is employed? Why, 
negatively, I read no civil law. Heineooius and his fel- 
low-worthies have ample time to gather a venerable coat 
of dust, which they merit by their dulness. As to my 
positive amusements, besides riding, fishing, and the 
other usual sports of the country, I often spend an hour 
or two in the evening in shooting herons, which are nu- 
merous on this part of the river. To do this I have no 
farther to go than the bottom of our garden, which liter- 
ally hangs over the river. When you fire at a bird, she 
always crosses the river, and when again shot at with 
ball, usually returns to your side, and will cross in this 
way several times before she takes wing. This furnishes 
fine sport; nor are they easily shot, as you never can get 
very near them. The intervals between their appearing 
are spent very agreeably in eating gooseberries. 

Yesterday was St. James's Fair, a day of great busi- 
ness. There was a great show of black cattle — I mean 
of ministers; the narrowness of their stipends here 
obliges many of them to enlarge their incomes by taking 
farms and grazing cattle. This, in my opinion, dimin- 
ishes their respectability, nor can the farmer be supposed 
to entertain any great reverence for the ghostly advice of 
a pastor (they literally deserve the epithet) who perhaps 
the day before overreached him iu a bargain. I would 
not have yon to suppose there are no exceptions to this 
character, but it would serve most of them. I had been 
fishing with my uncle, C-vptain Scott, on the Teviot, and 
returned through the ground where the Fair is kept. 
The servant was waiting there with our horses, as we 
were to ride the water. Lucky it was that it was so; for 
just about that time the magistrates of Jedburgh, who 
presida there, began their solemn procession through the 
Fair. For the greater dignity upon this occasion they 
had a pair of boots among three men — i. e., as they ride 
three in a rank, the outer legs of those personages who 
farmed the outside, as it may b£ u<Uled, of the procession, 

"79° ROSEBANK ,ji 

were each clothed in a boot. This and several other in- 
congruous appearances were thrown in the teeth of those 
cavaUers by the Kelso populace, and, by the assistance 
of whiskey, parties were soon inflamed to a very tight 
battle, one of that kind which, for distinction sake, is 
called royal. It was not without great difficulty that we 
extricated ourselves from the confusion; and had we been 
on foot, we might have been trampled down by these 
fierce Jedburghians, who chained like so many troopers. 
We were spectators of the combat from an eminence, but 
peace was soon after restored, which made the older 
warriors regret the effeminacy of the age, as, regularly, 
It ought to have lasted tiU night. Two lives were lost, 
I mean of horses; indeed, had you seen them, you would 
rather have wondered that they were able to bear their 
masters to the scene of action, than that they could not 
carry them off.' 

I am ashamed to read over this sheet of nonsense, so 
excuse inaccuracies. Bemember me to the lads of the 
Literary, those of the dub iu particular. I wrote Irving. 
Bemember my most respectful compliments to Mr. and 
Mrs. Clerk and family, particularly James; when yon 
write, let me know how he did when you heard of him. 
Imitate me in writing a long letter, but not in being long 
m writing it. Direct to me at Miss Scott's, Garden. 
Kelso. My letters lie there for me, as it saves their 
bemg sent down to Eosebauk. The carrier puts up at 
the Grassmarket, and goes away on Wednesday fore- 
noon. Yours, Walter Scott. 

' Mr. Andrew Shortpoid (one of a frafly often mentioned in theee 3h- 
»«ir.) ..;., u. . letter of Noyembet, 1838 : " The joke of the «« pair of 
b«tatortr«;,a„of Ieg,w» =„ nni«I.toblo to the honeet hnrKhen of 
Jedburgh, th.t they h.Ye .wered the ancient priyilege of ' riding the Fair ,• 
■• It wae oaUed (during which ceremony the inhabitant of Kelao were 
compelled to .hut up their .hope a. on a holiday), to faU into diiu™. Huoy, 
the runaway forger, a native of KeUo, ayaUed himaelf of the oalumiy in a 
derer equib on the rabject : — 

• The outilde nun h«l uhaboot, 
Tba UiTM tUKl but . >.• >• 




The next letter U dated from > house «t which I have 
often «en the writer in his Utter days. Kippikw, situ- 
ated about five or sU mile, behind Abbotsford, on tiie 
hieh irround between the Tweed and the Water of Ayle, 
i. the seat of an anci.nt laird of the clan Ren, but was 
at this time tenanted by the famUy of Walter s brother- 
apprentice, James Ramsay, who aftorwL.Js realized a 
fortune in the civil service of Ceylon. 


DiEAB Clerk, — I «ni now writing from the country 
habitation of our friend Ramsay, where I have been 
spending a week as pleasantly as ever I spent one m my 
m Imagine a commodious old house, pleasantly situ- 
ated amongst a knot of venerable ehns, in a flue sport- 
ing, open country, and only two mUes from m excellent 
water for trouts, inhabited by two of the best old ladies 
(Ramsay's aunts), and three as pleasant young ones (bis 
sisters) as any person could wish to converse with -and 
you will have some idea of Kippilaw. Jwnes and I 
wander about, fish, or look for hares, the whole day, and 
at night Ungh, chat, and pUy round games at cards. 
Such is the fatherland in which I have been livmg for 
some days past, and which I leave to-night or to-morrow. 
This day is very bad; notwithstanding which, Jame. has 
sallied out t» make some calls, as he soon leaves tte 
country. I have a great mind to trouble him with the 

care of this. . . « v v i 1 . 

And now for your letter, the receipt of which 1 have 
not, I think, yet acknowledged, thoufed I am much 
obliged to you for it. I dare say you would relish your 
iaunt to Pennycuik very much, especially considering 
the solitary desert of Edinburgh, from which it reheved 
you. By the bye, know, O thou devourer of grapes, 
who contemnest the vulgar gooseberry, that thou art not 
singular in thy devouring — nee tarn avernus equos sol 


■790 KIPPILAW ,j3 

jungitab vrle (^KdxmianH ,cilieeO—my uncle beine 
the lawful poaseuor of a vinery measuring no leas than 
twenty.four feet by twelve, the contents of which come 
often in my way; and, according to the proverb, that 
enough IS as good as a feast, are equally acceptable as 
a they came out of the most eztensive vineyard in 
trance. I cannot, however, equal your boast of break- 
fasting, dming, and supping on them. As for the civil. 
ians> — peace be with them, and may the dust lie light 
upon their heads — they deserve this prayer in return for 
those sweet slumbers which their benign influence infuses 
mto their readers. I fear I shall too soon be forced to 
disturb them, for some of our family being row at Kelso, 
I am under the agonies lest I be obliged to escort them 
into town. The only pleasure I shall reap by this is that 
of asking you how you do, and, perhaps, the solid advan- 
tage of completing our studies before the CoUege sits 
down. Employ, therefore, your mornings in slumber 
whUe you can, for soon it will be chased from your eyes. 
I plume myself on my sagacity with regard to C. J. 
Fox." I always foretold you would tire of him — a vile 
brute. I have not yet forgot the narrow escape of my 
fingers. I rejoice at James's' intimacy with Miss Men- 
zies. She promised to turn out a fine girl, has a fine 
fortune, and could James get her, he might sing, "I '11 
go no more to sea, to sea." Give my love to him when 
you write. — " God preserve ns, what a scrawl! " says 
one of the ladies just now, in admiration at the expedition 
with which I scribble. WeU — I was never able in my 
life to do anything with what is called gravity and delib- 

I dined two days ago t^te-a-tite with Lord Buchan. 
Heard a history of all his ancestors whom he has hung 
round his chimney-piece. From counting of pedigrees, 

' Booki on Civil Law. 

' A tune fox of Mr. Ospk'i, »liioh h« loon dismiswd. 

■ Mr. Junes Qerk, R K. 

,54 SIR WALTER SCOTT *t. 19 

good Lord deUrer u»! He U thinking o£ erecting a 
monument to Thomson. He frequented Dryburgh much 
in my grandfather's time. It wiU be a handsome thmg. 
As to your scamp of a boy, I saw nothing of him; but 
the face is enough to condemn there. I have seen a man 
flogged for stealing spiriU on the sole information of his 
nose. Kemember me respectfully to your family. 
Believe me yours affectionately, 

Walter Scott. 

After his return from the scene of these merry doings, 
he writes as foUows to his kind uncle. The reader will 
see that, in the course of the preceding year, he had an- 
nounced his early views of the origin of what is called 
the feudal system, in a paper read before the Literary 
fociety. He, in the succeeding winter, chose the same 
subject for an essay, submitted to Mr. Dugald Stewart, 
whoBH prelections on ethics he was then attending. Some 
time Uter he again illustrated the same opinions more at 
length in a disquisition before the Speculative Society; 
and, indeed, he always adhered to the-^ One of the 
last historical books he read, before leaving Abbotsford 
for Mai in 1831, was Colonel Tod's interesting account 
of Eaj! than; and I well remember the delight he ex- 
pressed on anding his views confirmed, as they certainly 
are in a very striking manner, by the phUosophical sol- 
dier's details of the structure of sooie^ in that remote 
region of the fjast. 


EonrauBaH, Septamliw 30, 1790. 

Dear Uncle, — We arrived here without any acci- 
dent about five o'clock on Monday evening. The good 
weather made our journey pleasant. I have been attend- 
ing to your commissions here, and find that the last vol- 
ume of Dodsley's Annual Kegister published is that for 
1787, which I was about to send you; but the bookseller 


whinr-^"!^'"" """^ '»■• 'o l-™ tha new woA 

ret pub.L,hed, bu? ,ou i.U jTwltrjl'T;' 

Agreeable to your permission, I .end you the ktoH 
copy of an e,«.y on the origin of the feudal system writ 
ten for the Literary Society last year As ITT^ t" !•' 
enough to inte^ryoursel/in m^Ttyletr^rne,':^ 
wnhng I thought you might like better to sTft fn ita 
onpnal state, than one on the polishing of wtch 1^ 

and attempt of the essay is princ pally to controvert t-„ 
LT'^narth'"' f""" "' ^ ^"-^ » fte ™:^t - 
Md, 2dljs that Its foundation depended on the kind's 
b^mg acknowfedged the sole lord of all the lands in L 
«mn^ he afterwards distributed to ^held t 
mihta^ tenures. I have endeavored to assign it a more 
general ong,n, and to prove that it proceeds Spon p ZT 
pksconunon to .U nations when pUced in a ceS sZ 

TL. L "^^^ *^ °""««' 'riU bat Pooriv rewanl 
ae trouble you wiU find in reading «,me p^^ ' I h"^ 
however, you will make out enough treble you'^ 
favor me with your sentiments upon its faulto. The« U 

ot\^r^t\^ amusement for an idle half hour, a copy 
ofthe «guUt,ons of our Society, some of which wiU, I 
*bak, be favored with your approbation. 



,j6 SIR WALTER SCOTT *t. i9 

My mother and lUtor join in oomplimenti to .unt ^ 
TOO, Md alw in tl»nks for the .ttention. and ho.p.tal.ty 
lZ"ti>», experienced at Ho«bank. And I am erer 
your aflectionate nephew. ^^^^ ^^ 

P B — If yon continue to want a mastiff, I ''•"•'J 
can "procure you one of a good breed, and «nd h,m by 
the carrier. 

While attending Mr. Dugald Stewart', claw, in the 
winter of 1790-91, Scott produced, in oomphance w th 
ZuU custom of ethical .tudent., «v.ral e.»y. be„de, 
Zt to which I have already made an »llu"»°. ^^ wh'ch 
Z., I believe, entitled, On the Manner, and Cu'to".. o 
the Northern Nation.. But thi. e.say .t wa. that fi«t 
attracted, in any particular manner, hi. Profcwr . at- 
^^o^' Sr. KoHrt Ain.Ue.> weU known a. the friend 
^d feUow-traveller of Bum., happened to attend Stew- 
art the .ame «..ion, and remember, hi. ^r"?' J J"" • 
thedra, "The author of thi. paper .how. much knowledf^ 
of hi. .ubject, and a great taate for .uch re«arche.. 
Scott became, before the clo» of the «..ion, a frequent 
^Ll^ Mr. Stewart', family, and an affectionate in- 
tercourw wa. maintained between them through their 

■^■f "e'here «t down a Uttle rtory which mo.t of hi, 
friend. mu,t have heard him teU of the «ime period 
WhUe attending Dugald Stewart', lecture, on moral 
philo«,phy, Scott happened to .it frequently a 
Cn and diligent youth, conaiderabty hi. »«»'?'; '"'^ 
Xriously of verfhumble condition. Their acquaintance 
^TLame radier intimate, and he occasionally mad 
^"n^ friend the companion of hi. countiy walks, bu 
„ to his parentage and ph«» of residence he alway 
pre«>rved tSd silence. One day toward, the end of t^ 
L.8ion, as Scott was returning to Edinburgh from a soh- 
1 M.. Ai»U. died .t Bdtaboigh, nth April, 1838, i» U. 73d ,.«. 

tory nmble, hia eya wh amited by a linguUrly Tener- 
•ble Blufgown, a beggu of the Edie Ochiltree order, 
who ftood propped on hit •tick, with hia hat in hie hand, 
but iilent and motionleu, at one of the outakirta of the 
city. Scott gave the old man what trifle he had in hia 
pocket, and paated on hia way. Two or three timea 
afterwarda the aame thing happened, and he had begun 
to oonaider tht Bluegown aa one who had eatabliahed a 
claim on hia bounty: when one day be fell in with him 
aa he waa walking with hia humble student. Observing 
aome confusion in uia companion's manner as he saluted 
hia pensioner, and bestowed the usual benefaction, he 
could not help saying, after they had proceetled a few 
yards further, "Do you know anything to the old man's 
discredit ? " Upon which the youth burst into teara, and 
cried, " Oh no, sir, God forbid ! — but I am a poor wretch 
to be ashamed to speak t» him — he is my own father. 
He haa enough laid by to serve for hia own old daya, but 
he atanda bleaching hia head in the wind, that he may 
get the meana of paying for my education." Compaa- 
aionating the young man'a aituation, Scott soothed hia 
weakness, and kept hia seoret, but by no means broke off 
the acquaintance. Some months had elapsed before he 
again met the Bluegown — it waa in a retired place, and 
the old man begged (» apeak a word with him. "I find, 
sir," he said, "that you have been very kind to my Wil- 
lie. He had often spoke of it before I saw you together. 
WiU you pardon such a liberty, and give me the honor 
and pleasure of seeing you under my poor roof? To- 
morrow ia Saturday; will you come at two o'clock? 
Willie haa not been very well, and it would do him 
meikle good to see your face." His curiosity, besides 
better feelings, was touched, and he accepted this strange 
mvitation. The appointed hour found him within sight 
of a sequestered little cottage, near St. Leonard'a — the 
hamlet where he has placed the residence of his David 
Deans. His fellow-student, pale and emaciated from 



noent .tokneM, wm Mated on a •tone bench by th« door, 
looking out lof hU coming, nnd introduced him into % 
not untidy cabin, where the old min, diveited of hi. pro- 
fcMional garb, wa. directing the hut vibration, of a leg 
of mutton that hung by a hempen coru before the Are. 
The mutton wa. exceUent— » were the potato*, and 
whiAevi and Scott returned home from au entertaining 
convermtion, in which, be.ide. teUing many queer .torie. 
of hi. own life -and he had wen wrvioe in hi. youth - 
the old man more than once uwd an exprewion, which 
wa. long afterward, put into the mouth of Dommie 
Sampwn'. mother: -"Pleaie God, I may live to Me 
my bairn wag hi« head in a pulpit yet." 

Walter could not help tdling all thi. the wme night 
to hi. mother, and added, that he would fain we hi. poor 
friend obuin a tutor', place in wme gentleman . famUy. 
"Dinna .peak to your father about it," «id the good 
Udy; "if it had been a shoulder he might have thought 
leu, but he will My tht jigot wa. a .in. I 'U we what I 
can do." Mrs. Scott made her inqnif-.c- u, 1 ;r own vay 
among the Profewor., and having Mti.fled herwU a. to 
the young man', character, applied to her favorite minu- 
ter Dr. Emkine, whoM influence noon procured «uch a 
.ItMtion a. had been .ugge.ted for him, in the north of 
Scotland. "And thenceforth," Mid Sir Walter, I lost 
sight of my friend —but let u. hope he made out hi. cur- 
riculum at Aberdeen, an . now wagging his head where 
the fine old carle wished to Me him." > _ 

On the 4th .Tanuaiy, 1791, Scott wa. admitted a mem. 
her of The Specdative Society, where it had, long be- 
fore, been the cu.tom of thoM about to be caUed to the 

AMiT»n. 1830. Wl». I tat ™kI that not., I «k«d '■■">-''''■• 
h^ S^«d « ■»..y o»c.»rt».«. from th. «~1 or.1 .Jifon of h.. "«- 

ZS^^^Z^J i^U for th. p«p°» 1 h.d In vi.w f " I r.,T.«.a th. 

leg of muttoH* 


Bar, and thou who after aHuming the sown were left in 
poMCMion of l«i.are by the •olioitor/lftZ^nT! • 

tbemulve. in the ari of etu^on'^'TeUt^ "TZ 
toe to time e«.h member produce. „ X „.d^^ 
^tme»t of hi. .abject i. then di«„ JTbr^rjolav 
Soott . BHay. were, for November 1701 On ,1, n • • 
of the Feudal Sytem, for t'h:i;.J."!l'„2^^'^'7 ^X 
^Authenticity of 0.,ian'. Poem., and 7n the 11th 

o^t.'V""' ^V""' '«' ""^ one. On tl» OriS 
.ub^^ "'I"" ^y^o^ogy- The election of S 
.nbject. .how. the cour« of hi. private .tudie. and TrT 

dilecttong; but he amun,^ t . ,^ "»>"o» ana pre- 

»i.l,.n h:. t ■ 1. •?!>«"». from tne minute., to have 
taken hi. fair .hare in the ordinary debate, o the sl! 

t.on., which M belong to the e.tabli.hed text-book for 
juvenile .peculation in Edinburgh: - "Ought a^ J" 
manent .upport to be provided for the poor? " ^Ou'^h; 
^r^nl^ «» .ft^Wi-W religion?" CattaindeV i^t 
corrapt on of blood ever a proper puni,hment? " "Ought 

airectly upon the people, or I» it expe'ieni to contract 

of aalf l' -Z'^, ?'^"'" "^^ ""e-cutTon 
.LSSS^?.. r I?"""' "^■"'"'■J "■« ''>»ve-trade be 
.U.l.,hed? In the next .e,.ion, previou, to hi. caU to 
he Bar, he .poke in the debate, of which thew were the 
the«.:_"Ha. the belief in a future .tate been of ad! 
vantage to mankind, or i. it ever likely to be so' " "T. 
It for the interest of Britain to maintain what i. called 
the balance of Europe?" and again on the eternal que^ 
^on a. to the fate of King Charle, I., which, by the w^ 
ter S»tt. "^ "-di^ussion on a motion by W^l 
J1L*~ V*" wveral winter., an ardent intere.t in thi. 

miTh. '^r^'^' '"'' '^"'''»'™ (18* J'"'««y. 

to following he became aUo their secretary and trea- 
surer, all which appomtmenta indicate the reliance placed 



on his careful habits of buainesa, the fruit of his chamber 
education. The minutes kept in his handwriting attest 
the strict regularity of his attention to the small affairs, 
literary and financial, of the club; but they show also, 
as do all his early letters, a strange carelessness in spell- 
ing. His constant good temper softened the asperities 
of debate; while his multifarious lore, and the quaint 
humor with which he enlivened its display, made him 
more a favorite as a speaker than some whose powers of 
rhetoric were far above his. 

Lord Jeffrey remembers being struck, the first night 
he spent at the Speculative^ with the singular appearance 
of the secretary, who sat gravely at the bottom of the 
table in a huge woollen nightcap; and when the presi- 
dent took the chair, pleaded a bad toothache as his apol- 
ogy for coming into that worshipful assembly in such a 
"portentous machine." He read that night an essay on 
ballads, which so much interested the new member that 
he requested to be introduced to him. Mr. Jeffrey called 
on him next evening, and found him "in a small den, on 
the sunk fioor of his father's house in George's Sqiuire, 
surrounded with dingy books," from which they ad- 
journed to a tavern, and supped together. Such was the 
commencement of an acquaintance, which by degrees 
ripened into friendship, between the two most distin- 
guished men of letters whom Edinburgh produced in their 
time. 1 may add here the description of that early den, 
with which I am favored by a lady jf Scott's family : — 
"Walter had soon begun to collect out-of-the-way things 
of all sorts. He had more books than shelves ; a small 
painted cabinet, with Scotch and Boman coins in it, and 
so forth. A claymore and Lochaber aze, given him by 
old Invemahyle, mounted guard on a little print of 
Prince Charlie; and Br<mghton'$ Sancerwas hooked up 
against the wall below it." Such wat, the germ of the 
magnificent library and museum of Al botsford ; and such 
were the "new realms" in which he, on t ..'ing posses- 


^ ir 





8ion had axranged his little paraphernalia about him 
with aU the feehng, of novelty and liberty." Since 
thow days, the habits of life in Edinburgh, a. elsewhere, 
have undergone many changes: and the "convenient 
parlor, ,n which Scott first showed Jeffrey his coUec 
tions of minstrelsy, is now, in all probabUity, thought 
hMdly good enough for a menial's sleeping-room 

wfl.I^rJ'""^^"*''.'" "P'"'" 5ro«y/^o»'s Saucer. 
We read of Mr. Saunders Fairford, that though "an 
elder of the kirk, and of course zealous for King George 
and the Government," yet, having "many clients aid 
connections of busmess among families of opposite politi- 
cal tenets, he was particularly cautious to use all the 
conventional, phrases which tie civUity of the time had 
devised as an admissible mode of language betwixt the 
two parties: Thus he spoke sometimes of the Chevalier 
but never either of the Prince, which would have been 
sacrificing his own principles, or of the Pretender, which 
would have been offensive to those of others: Again, he 
usually designated the Bebellion as the afair of 1745 
and spoke of any one engaged in it as a person who had 
been OM«at a certain period -so that, on the whole, he 
was much liked and respected on all sides."' AU this 
was true of Mr. Walter Scott, W. S. ; but I have often 
heard his son tell an anecdote of him, which he dwelt on 
with particular satisfaction, as illustrative of the man, 
""if *^« 'J'*""^* 'ime through which he had lived. 

Mrs. Scott's curir,sity was strongly excited one autumn 
ny the r(,gnlar appearance, at a certain hour every even- 
mg, of a sedan chair, to deposit a person carefully muf- 
Bed up m a mantle, who was immediately ushered into 
her husbands private room, and commonly remained 
with hun there until long after the usual bedtime of this 
orderly famUy. Mr. Scott answered her repeated in- 
qumes with a vagueness which irritated the lady's feel- 
■ngs more and more; untU, at last, she could bear the 
. y^j_ J ' StdgrnvJa, olisp. I 



i I 

thing no longer ; but one evening, just as she heard the 
bell ring as for the stranger's chair to cany him oS, she 
made her appearance within tLe forbidden parlor with 
a salver in her hand, observing that she thought the gen- 
tlemen had sat so long, they would be the better of a dish 
of tea, and had ventured accordingly to bring some for 
their acceptance. The stranger, a person of distinguished 
appearance, and richly dressed, bowed to the lady, and 
accepted a cup ; but her husband knit his brows, and re- 
fused very coldly to partake the refreshment. A moment 
afterwards the visitor withdrew — and Mr. Scott, lifting 
up the window-sash, took the cup which he had left empty 
on the table, and tossed it out upon the pavement. The 
lady exclaimed for her china, but was put to silence by 
her husband's saying, "I can forgive yo"r little curiosity, 
madam, but you must pay the penalty. I may admit 
into my house, on a piece of business, persons wholly 
unworthy to be treated as guests by my wife. Neither 
lip of me nor of mine comes after Mr. Murray of Brough- 

This was the unhappy man who, after attending Prince 
Charles Stuart as his secretary throughout the greater 
part of his expedition, condescended to redeem his own 
life and fortune by bearing evidence against the noblest 
of his late master's adherents, when 

** Pitied b; gentle heart* Kilmanock died — 
The brave, Balxoerino, were on thy nde." 

When confronted with Sir John Douglas of Kelhead 
(ancestor of the Marquess of Queensberry), before the 
Frivy Council in St. James's, the prisoner was asked, 
"Do you know this witness?" "Not I," answered 
Douglas; "I once knew a person who bore the designa- 
tion of Murray of Broughton — but that was a gentle- 
man and a man of honor, and one that could hold up his 

The saucer belonging to Bronghton's teacup had been 
preserved! and Walter, at a very early period, made 



prize of it. One can fancy young Alan Faiiford point- 
ing significantly to the relic, when Mr. Saunders was 
vouchsafing him one of his customary lectures about lis- 
tening with unseemly sympathy to "the blawing, bleezing 
stories which the Hieland gentlemen told of those trou- 
blous times." 1 

ITie following letter is the only one of the autumn of 
1791 that has reached my hands. It must be read with 
particular interest for its account of Scott's firet visit to 
Flodden field, destined to be celebrated seventeen years 
afterwards in the very noblest specimen of his num- 
bers: — 

NOBTRCMBBKLAND, 26th AugOSt, 1701. 

Dear Clerk, — Behold a letter from the moimtains; 
for I am very snugly settled here, in a farmer's house, 
about six miles from Wooler, in the very centre of the 
Cheviot hills, in one of the wildest and most romantic 
situations which your imagination, fertile upon the sub- 
ject of cottages, ever suggested. And what the deuce 
are you about there? methinks I hear you say. Why, 
sir, of all things in the world — drinking goat's whey — 
not that I stand in the least need of it, but my uncle 
having a slight cold, and being a little tired of home, 
asked me last Sunday evening if I would like to go with 
him t« Wooler, and I answering in the affirmative, next 
morning's sun beheld us on our journey, through a pass 
m the Cheviots, upon the back of two special nags, and 
man 'Thomas behind with a portmanteau, and two fishing, 
rods fastened across his back, much in the style of St. 
Andrew's Cross. Upon reaching Wooler we found the 
accommodations so bad that we were forced to use some 
interest to get lodgings here, where we are most delight- 
fully appointed indeed. To add to my satisfaction, we 
are amidst places renowned by the feats of former days; 
^ Bedgmtntiet, letter is. 



each hill is crowned with a tower, or camp, or cairn, and 
in no situation can you be near more fields of battle: 
Flodden, Otterburn, Chevy Chase, Ford Castle, Chilling- 
ham Castle, Copland CasUe, and many another scene of 
blood, are within the compass of a forenoon's ride. Out 
of the brooks, with which these hills are intersected, we 
pull trouts of half a yard in length, as fast as we did the 
perches from the pond at Pennycuik, and we are in the 
very country of muirfowl. 

Often as I have wished for your company, I never did 
it more earnestly than when I rode over Flodden Edge. 
I hnow your taste for these things, and could have under- 
taken to demonstrate that never was an affair more com- 
pletely bungled than that day's work was. Suppose one 
army posted upon the face of a hill, and secured by high 
grounds projecting on each flank, with the river Till in 
front, a deep and still river, winding through a very ex- 
tensive valley called Milfleld Plain, and the only passage 
over it by a narrow bridge, which the Soots artillery, 
from the hill, could in a moment have demolished. Add, 
that the English must have hazarded a battle while their 
troops, which were tumultuously levied, remained to- 
gether; and that the Scots, behind whom the country 
was open to Scotland, had nothing to do but to wait for 
the attack as they were posted. Yet did two thirds of 
the army, actuated by the per/ervidum ingmium Sco- 
torum, rush down and give an opportunity to Stanley to 
occupy the ground they had quitted, by coming over the 
shoulder of the hill, while the other third, under Lord 
Home, kept theii ground, and having seen th«ir king 
and about 10,000 of their countrymen cut to pieces, re- 
tired into Scotland without loss. For the reason of the 
bridge not being destroyed while the English passed, I 
refer you to Pitscottie, who narrates at large, and to 
whom I give credit for a most accurate and clear descrip- 
tion, agreeing perfectly with the ground. 

My uncle drinks the whey here, as I do ever since I 


undentood it was brou- it to hi> b«diide every morning 
at «ix, by a very pretty dairy-maid. So much for my 
residence: aU the dn.y we ahoot, fish, walk, and ride; 
dine and sup up^n flsb struggling from the stream, and 
the most delicious heath-fed mutton, barn-door fowls, 
poys,' milk-cheese, etc., aU in perfection; and so much 
simpUoity resides among these hills, that a pen, which 
TOuld write at least, was not to be found about the house, 
though belonging to a considerable farmer, tiU I shot the 
crow with whose quill I write this epistle. I wrote to 
Irring before leaving Kelso. Poor fellow, I am sure 
his sister's death must have hurt him much; though he 
makes no noise about feelings, yet still streams always 
mn deepest. I sent a message by him to Edie,» poor 
devil, adding my mite of consolation to him in his aiflic- 
tion. I pity poor *••*••, who is more deserving of 
compassion, being hU first offence. Write soon, and as 
long as the last; you will have Perthshire news, I sup- 
pose, soon. Jamie's adventure diverted me much. I 
read it to my uncle, who being long in the India service, 
was affronted. Remember me to James when you write, 
and to all your family, and friends in general. I send 
this to Kelso — you may address as usual; my letters 
will be forwarded — adieu — au revoir, 

Walter Scott. 

With the exception of this little excursion, Scott ap- 
pears to have been nailed to Edinburgh during this au- 
tumn, by that course of legal study, in company with 
Uerk, on which he dwells in his Memoir with more 
Mtisfaction than on any other passage in his early life. 
He copied out twke, as the fragment tells us, his notes 
»* *•■??« lectures of the eminent Scots Law professor 
(Mr. Hume), which he speaks of in such a high strain 
of eulogy; and Mr. Irving adds that the second copy, 
being fairly finished and bound into volumes, was pre- 
'^■•^ •SbA.F.rgMon. 


1 66 


■enttfd to hit father. The old gentleman waa highly 
gratified with this performance, not only aa a aatiifactory 
proof of hia lon'a auiduoua attention to the law profes- 
sor, but inasmuch as the lectures afforded himself "rery 
pleasant reading for leisure hours.'* 

Mr. Clerk assures me that nothing could be more 
exact (excepting as to a few petty circumstances intro- 
duc.d for obvious reasons) than the resemblance of the 
Mr. Saunders Fairford of Kedganntlet to bis friend's 
father : — "He was a man of business of the old school, 
moderate in his charges, economical, and even niggardly 
in his expenditure; strictly honest in conducting his 
own affairs and those of his clients ; but taught by long 
experience to be wary and suspicious in observing the 
motions of others. Punctual as the clock of St. Giles 
to]'"'l nine" (the hour at which the Court of Session 
mets "the dapper form of the hale old gentleman was 
seen at the threshold of the court hall, or, at farthest, at 
the head of the Back Stairs " (the most convenient access 
to the Parliament House from George's Square), "trimly 
dressed in a complete suit of snuff-colored brown, with 
stockings of silk or woollen, as suited the weather ; a bob 
wig and a small cocked hat; shoes blacked as Warren 
would have blacked them ; silver shoe-buckles, and a gold 
stock-buckle. His manners corresponded with his attire, 
for they were scrupulously civil, and not a little formal. 
. . . On the whole, he was a man much liked and re- 
spected, though his friends would not have been sorry if 
he had given a dinner more frequently, as his little cellar 
contained some choice old wine, of which, on such rare 
occasions, he was no niggard. The whole pleasure of 
this good old-fashioned man of method, besides that 
which he really felt in the discharge of his own daily 
business, was the hope to see his son attain what in the 
father's eyes was the proudest of all distinctions — the 
rank and fame of a well-employed lawyer. Every pro- 
fession has its peculiar honors, and his mind was con- 




•tnicted upon ao limited and exclu»ive a plan, that he 
valued nothing aave the object* of ambition which bis 
own presented. He would have shuddered at his sons 
acquiring the renown of a hero, and Uughed with scorn 
at the equally barren laurels of literatures it was by the 
path of the law alone that he was desirous to see him rise 
to eminence; and the probabilities of success or disap- 
pointment were the thoughts of his father by day, and 
his dream by night." ■ 

It is easy to imagine the original of this portrait, writ- 
ing to one of his friends, about the end of June, 1792 — 
"I have the pleasure to tell you that my son has passed 
his private Scots Law examinations with good approba- 
tion—a great relief to my mind, especially as worthy 
Mr. Pest' told me in my ear, there was no fear of the 
'callant,' as he familiarly called him, which gives me 
great heart. His public trials, which are nothing in 
comparison, save a mere form, are to take place, by order 
of the Honorable Dean of Faculty," on Wednesday first, 
and on Friday he puts on the gown, and gives a bit chaok 
of dinner to his friends and acquaintances, as is the cus- 
tom. Your company will be wished for there by more 
than him. — P. S. His thesis is on the title, De pcriculo 
et commodo rei venditw, and is a very pretty piece of 

And all things passed in due order, even as they are 
figured. The real Darsie was present at the real Alan 
Fairford's "bit chack of dinner," and the old Clerk of 
the Signet was very joyous on the occasion. Scott's 
thetis was, in fact, on the Title of the Pandects, Con- 
cerning the ditpoaal of the dead bodie» of Cntninah. It 

* Sedgauntltt, ohsp. {. 

« It baa been sii(r!r<»te<l Hull Pal U a iniq>riiit for P,al. There »iu u 
eld«riy prMtitioner of tha latter oama, with tthom Mr. Fnirford muat hare 
been well acquainted. — (1839.) 

' The aitnation of Dean of Facalty wa< filled in 1792 by the Hononbia 
Henry Etakine, of witty and beoeTolent memory. 

* BtdgauntUt, letter ii. 


1 68 



wu dadioattd, I donbt not by the oanful father'a idvioe, 
to hii friend and neighbor in Oeorge'n Square, the coanelj 
humoroui, but noute and able, and (till well-remembered, 
Maoqueen of Braxfield, then Lord Justicu-Clork (or 
Pmident of the Supreme Criminal Court) of Scotland.' 

I have often heard both Alan and Dariie laugh over 
their reminiicencM of the important day when they "put 
on the gown." After the ceremony waa (iomplete<l, and 
they hod mingled for lome time with the crowd of barrii- 
ten in the Outer Court, Scott laid to hia comrade, mim- 
icking the air and tone of a Highland bus waiting at the 
CroM of Edinburgh to be hired for the harveat work — 
"We 've atood here an hour by the Tron, hinny, and de'il 
a ane haa ai>eered our price." Some friendly aolicitor, 
however, gave him a guinea fee before the Court roae; 
and as they walked down the High Street together, he 
aaid to Mr. Clerk, in passing a hosier's shop — "This is 
a sort of a wcdding-<lay, Willie ; I think I must go in 
and buy me a new nightcap." He did so accordingly; 
perhaps this was Lord Je6Fr«y's "portentous machine." 
His first fee of any consequence, however, was expended 
on a silver taper-stand for his mother, which the old lady 
used to point to with great satisfaction, as it stood on her 
chimney-piece flve-and-twenty years afterwards. 

1 An flUiiiMiit MmotetoT obMrrtt on thU paiMffe ; — "Tha prai» ol 
liord Braxfield'* ospaoity and acqairament U perhapa rathar too alight. 
Ha waa a very good lavyer, and a man of aztraordinary aagacity, and in 
qolckaaia and anranaaa of apprahenaion reaamblad Lord Kanyon, a* wall 
■I in hia raady tiaa of hii piofonnd kaowUdca of law." — (1)139.) 






Scott was caUed to the Bar only the day before the 
cloamg of the session, and he appears to have almost 
immediately escaped to the country. On the 2d of Au- 
gust I And his father writing, — "I have sent the copies 
of your that, as desired; " and on the 15th he addressed 
to him at Hosebank a letter, in which there is this para- 
paph, an undoubted autograph of Mr. Saunders Fair- 
ford, anno mtatis sixty-three : — 

" Dear Walter, - . . . I ,m gUd that your expedition to 
the wert proved agreealile. You do weU to warn your mother 
m"»t A»he«t.el. Although I mid little, yet I never thought 
that road could be agreeable; besides, it i. taking too wide a 
ciKie. Lord Justice-Clerk is in town attending the Bills." He 
caUed here yesterday, and inquired very particularly for you. 
1 told him where you was, and he expects to .ee you at Jed- 
burgh upon the 21st He is to be at MeUerstain ■ on the 20th, 
and wUl be there all night. His Lordship «ud, in a very pie.! 
•ant manner, that something might cast up at Jedburgh to give 
yon an opportunity of appearing, and that he would insist upon 

' Tk. JudgM tb.o .tt.i.d«i ui Edubaqrh in rotetion dnring the Intm. 

wk°d.r b"uX^.l::;:°" """ -' "^ -"-^ °°^ ■" 




it, ana that in futnre he meant to give yon a aliare of the crimi- 
nal bosineas in this Court, — all which is veiy kind. 1 told his 
Lordship that 1 had dissuaded you from appearing at Jedburgh, 
but he said I was wrong in doing so, and 1 therefore leave the 
matter to you and him. I think it ia probable hs wfUl Itreakfaat 
unth Sir H. H. MacDvugaU on the 21st, on hit way to Jed- 
burgh.^* . . . 

This last quiet hint, that tha young lawyer might aa 
well be at M^erstoun (the seat of a relation) when Hia 
Ijordship breakfasted there, and of course swell the train 
of His Lordship's little procession into the county town, 
seems delightfully characteristic. I think I hear Sir 
Walter himself lecturing Tne, when in the same sort of 
situation, thirty years afterwards. He declined, as one 
of the following letters will show, the opportunity of 
making his first appearance on this occasion at Jedburgh. 
He was present, indeed, at the Court during the assizes, 
but "durst not venture." His accounts to William 
Clerk of his vacation amusements, and more particularly 
of his second excursion to Northumberland, will, I am 
sure, interest every reader: — 


RosiBAHK, lOtii September, 1192. 
Deab William, — Taking the advantage of a very 
indifferent day, which is likely to float away a good deal 
of com, and of my father's leaving this place, who will 
take charge of this scroll, I sit down to answer your 
favor. 1 find you have been, like myself, taking advan- 
tage of the good weather to look around you a little, and 
congratulate yon upon the pleasure you must have re- 
ceived from your jaunt with Mr. Russell.* I apprehend, 
though you are silent on the subject, that your conversa- 
tion was enlivened by many curious disquisitions of the 

1 Mr. Riueell, lurgeon, sftervBrdi ProfeMor of Clinical Sugary at 


nature of undulating aehalations. I should have bowed 
before the venerable grove of oaks at HamUton with as 
much respect as if I had been a Druid about to gather 
the sacred mistletoe. I should hardly have suspected 
your host Sir William' of having been the occasion of 
the scandal brought upon ihe library and Mr. Gibb» by 
the introduction of the Cabinet des Fees, of which I have 
a volume or two here. I am happy to think there is an 
admirer of mug things in the administration of the 
library. Poor Linton's' misfortune, though I cannot 
say it surprises, yet heartily grieves me. I have no 
doubt he will have many advisers and animadverters 
upon the naughtiness of his ways, whose admonitions wiU 
be forgot upon the next opportunity. 

I am lounging about the country here, to speak sin- 
cerely, as idle as the day is long. Two old companions 
of mine, brothers of Mr. Walker of Wooden, having 
come to this country, we have renewed a great intimacy. 
As they live directly upon the opposite bank of the river, 
we have signals agreed upon by which we concert a pUn 
of operations for the day. They are both officers, and 
very intelligent young fellows, and what is of some con- 
sequence, have a brace of fine greyhounds. Yesterday 
forenoon we killed seven hares, so you may see how 
plenty the game is with us. I have turned a keen duck- 
shooter, though my success is not very great; and when 
wading through the mosses upon this errand, accoutred 
with the long gun, a jacket, mosquito trousers, and a 
rough cap, I might well pass for one of my redoubted 

> Sir Williun HiUer (Lord OIsiiIm). 

• Mr. Gibb wu the Librarian of tba Faculty of Adrooatei. 

' Clerk, Abeiciomby, Scott, Fergmon, and othera, had ocoaaional boat- 
ing ncnrriona frm Leith to Inobcolm, Inchkeith, etc. On one of them 
tlieir boat waa neared by a Newhayen one — Fergneon, at the moment, 
WM itanding np talking; one of the Newharen fiebermen, taking him for 
a brother of his own craft, bawled out, " Linton, yon lang bitch, ia that 
yon f " From that day Adam FergDv>n'i cognomen among hia friendi of 
The Club waa Linton. 




MT. 21 

moss-trooper progenitors, Walter Fire-the-Brae»,' or 
rather Willie wi' the Bolt-Foot. 

For about-doors' amusement, I have constructed a seat 
in a large tree which spreads its branches horizontally 
over the Tweed. This is a favorite situation of mine for 
reading, especially in a day like this, when the west wind 
rocks the branches on which I am perched, and the river 
Tolb its waves below me of a turbid blood color. I have, 
moreover, cut an embrasure, through which I can fire 
upon the gulls, herons, and cormorants, as they fly scream- 
ing past my nest. To crown the whole, I have carved an 
inscription upon it in the ancient Boman taste. I believe 
I shall hardly return into town, barring accidents, sooner 
than the middle of next month, perhaps not till Novem- 
ber. Next week, weather permitting, is destined for a 
Northumberland expedition, in which I shall visit some 
parts of that country which I have not yet seen, particu- 
larly about Hexham. Some days ago 1 had nearly met 
with a worse accident than the tramp I took at Moorf oot ; ' 
for having bewildered myself among the Cheviot hills, it 
was nearly nightfall before I got to the village of How- 
nam, and the passes with which I was acquainted. You 
do not speak of being in Perthshire this season, though 
I suppose yon intend it. I suppose we, that is, tuna 
autret,' are at present completely dispersed. 

Compliments to all who are in town, and best respects 
to your own family, both in Prince's Street and at 
Eldin. — Believe me ever most sincerely yours, 

Walter Scott. 

> Wdtor Smtt <A Syufan (elder bntlur of Balt-Fixil, tlie fint Baron of 
Harden) wm thne deilgnnted. He greatly distingniBhed himieli in the 
battle of Melnae, A. d. 1626. 

' Thia allndea to being loet in a fiahing exeniaion. 

' The oompaniona of Hit Cltib. 




RoflBBAin, 30th ScptombeT, 1793. 
Dear Willum, — I suppose this will find you flour- 
ishing like a green bay-tree on the mountains of Perth- 
shire, and in full enjoyment of all the pleasures of the 
country. All that I envy you is the nodes cceiueque 
deum, which, I take it for granted, you three merry men 
will be spending together, while I am poring over Bar- 
tholine in the long evenings, solitary enough; for, as for 
the lobsters, as you call them, I am separated from them 
by the Tweed, which precludes evening meetings, unless 
in fine weather and full moons. 1 have had an expedi- 
tion through Hexham and the higher parts oi Northum- 
berland, which would have delighted die very cockles of 
your heart, not so much on account of the beautiful ro- 
mantic appearance of the country, though that would 
have charmed you also, as because you would have seen 
more Soman inscriptions built into gate-posts, bams, 
etc., than perhaps are to be found in any other part of 
Britain. These have been all dug up from the neighbor- 
ing Roman wall, which is still in many places very entire, 
and gives a stupendous idea of the perseverance of its 
founders, who carried such an erection from sea to sea, 
over rocks, mountains, rivers, and morasses. There are 
several lakes among the mountains above Hexham, well 
worth going many miles to see, though their fame is 
eclipsed by their neighborhood to those of Cumberland. 
They are surrounded by old towers and castles, in situa- 
tions the most savagely romantic; what would I have 
given to have been able to take effect-pieces from some 
of them! Upon the Tyne, about Hexham, the coimtry 
has a different aspect, presenting much of the beautiful, 
though less of the sublime. I was particularly charmed 
with the situation of Beaufront, a house belonging to a 
mad sort of genius, whom, I am sure, I have told you 
some stories about. He used to call himself the Noble 




Errington, but of late has assumed the title of Duke of 
Hexham. Hard by the town is the field of battle where 
the forces of Queen Margaret were defeated by those of 
the House of York, a blow which the Bed Bose never 
recovered during the civil wars. The spot where the 
Duke of Somerset and the northern nobility of the Lan- 
castrian faction were executed after the battle is still 
called Dukesfield. The inhabitants of this country speak 
an odd dialect of the Saxon, approaching nearly that of 
Chaucer, and have retained some customs peculiar to 
themselves. They are the descendants of the ancient 
Danes, chased into the fastnesses of Northumberland by 
the severity of William the Conqueror. Their ignorance 
is surprising to a Scotchman. It is common for the 
traders in cattle, which business is carried on to a great 
extent, to carry all letters received in course of trade to 
the parish church, where the clerk reads them aloud after 
service, and answers them according to circumstances. 

We intended to visit the lakes in Cumberland, but our 
jaunt was cut short by the bad weather. I went to the 
circuit at Jedburgh, to make my bow to Ijord J. Clerk, 
and might have had employment, but durst not venture. 
Nine of the Dunse rioters were condemned to banish- 
ment, but the ferment continues violent in the Merse. 
Kelso races afforded little sport — Wishaw ' Ic a horse 
which cost him jC500, and foundered irrecoverably on 
the course. At another time I shall quote George Bu- 
chanan's adage of *^a fool and his money," but at present 
labor under a similar misfortune; my Galloway having 
yesterday thought proper (N. B., without a rider) to leap 
over a gate, and being lamed for the present. This is 
not his first favx-pas, for he jumped into a water with 
me on his back when in Northumberland, to the imminent 
danger of my life. He is, therefore, to be sold (when 
recovered), and another purchased. This accident 'las 

^ William Hamilton of WiahaT, — who afterwarcU eataUiahed hia doirn 
to tlie peerage oi Belhaven. 


oooaaioned you the trouble of reading so long au epistle, 
the day being Sunday, and my uncle, the captain, busily 
engaged with your father's naval tactics, is too seriously 
employed to be an agreeable companion. Apropos (dea 
bottes)— I am sincerely sorry to hear that James is still 
unemployed, but have no doubt a time will come round 
when his talents will have an opportunity of being dis- 
played to his advantage. I have no prospect ot' seeing 
my chire adorable till winter, if then. As for you, I pity 
you not, seeing as how you have so good a succedaneum 
in M. G.; and, on the contrary, hope, not only that 
Edmonstone may roast you, but that Cupid may again 
(as er8t)/ry you on the gridiron of jealousy for your in- 
fidelity. Compliments to our right trusty and well- 
beloved Linton and Jean Jacques.' If you write, which, 
by the way, I hardly have the conscience to expect, direct 
to my father's care, who will forward your letter. I 
have quite given up duok-shooting for the season, the 
birds being too old, and the mosses too deep and cold. 
1 have no reason to boast of my experience or success in 
the sport, and for my own part, should fire at any dis- 
tance under eighty or even ninety paces, though above 
forty-five I would reckon it a coup dheapere, and as the 
bird is beyond measure shy, you may be su.e I was not 
very bloody. Believe me, deferring, aa umal, our dis- 
pute till another opportunity, always sincerely yours, 

Walteb Scott. 
P- S. — I believe, if my pony does not soon recover, 
that misfortune, with the bad weather, may send me soon 
to town. 

It was within a few days after Scott's return from his 
excursion to Hexham, that, while attending the Michael- 
mas head-court, as an annual county-meeting is called, 
at Jedburgh, he was introduced, by an old companion, 
Charles Kerr of Abbotrule, to Mr. Robert Shortreed, 
1 John Junes Edmoastone. 





that gentleman'! near rebtion, who apent the greater 
part of his life in the enjoyment of much respect as Sher- 
iff-substitute of Roxburghshire. Scott had been express- 
ing his wish to visit the then wild and inaccessible dis- 
trict of Liddesdale, particularly with a view to examine 
the ruins of the famous castle of Hermitage, and to pick 
Dp some of the ancient riding ballade, said to be still 
preserved among the descendants of the moss-troopers, 
who had followed the banner of the Douglases, when 
lords of that grim and remote fastness. Mr. Shortreed 
had many connections in Liddesdale, and knew its passes 
well, and he was pointed out as the very guide the young 
advocate wanted. They started, accordingly, in a day 
or two afterwards, from Abbotrule; and the laird meant 
to have been of the party; but "it was well for him," 
said Shortreed, "that he changed his mind — for he 
could never have done as we did." > 

During seven successive years Scott made a raid, as 
be called it, into Liddesdale, with Mr. Shortreed for his 
guide; exploring eveiy rivulet to its source, and every 
ruined peel from f oun(bti n to battlement. At this time 
no wheeled carriage had ever been seen in the district — 
the first, indeed, that ever appeared there was a gig, 
driven by Scott himself for a part of his way, when on 
the last of these seven excursions. There was no inn or 
public-house of any kind in the whole valley; the travel- 
lers passed from the shepherd's hut t*) the minister's 
manse, and again from the cheerful hospitality of the 
manse to the rough and jolly welcome of tlie homestead ; 
gathering, wherever they went, songs and tunes, and 
occasionally more tangible relics of antiquity — even such 

1 I am obliged to Mr. John Elliot Shortnod, a aon of Scott's early 
friend, for ionie memoraiK^a of his father'a eonvanationa on tlua aobject 
Theae notea were written in 1824 ; and I thall make aeTeral qnotations 
from them. 1 had, howeTer, many opportonitiea of hearing Mr. Short- 
reed's stories from his own lips, having often been under his hospitable 
roof in company with Sir Walter, who to the last always waa hia old 
friend's guest when bnainsas took him to Jedburgh. 

•792 LIDDESDALE r^^ 

"a rowth of auld nicknacket. " as Burns aaoribe. to Cat. 
^ Gro«, To these ramble. Scott owed much of SI" 

not less of that intimate acquaintance with the living 
ZTZctief'^t ""-P"''-*"! -Pon,. which con ?^ 

KeTim in W '""'r° ''* ^ ""ydeflnite^bjec 
before him m his researches seems very doubtful "He 

but he didna ken aayb. what he was about tiU years 

had pa««d: .t first he thought o' little, I d«e say^ b" 

tie queerness and the fun." ^' 

"In those days," says the Memorandiun before me 

.ivoeates were not so plenty-at leas^ about ITdd": 

dale ; and the worthy Sheriff-snbstitute goes on to de- 

ft MilltJSh T1 'T'^T ^^"^ ""^^^ (Willie™ili'„^^ 
01 tae quality of one of his euests. When fl,«„ Ai, 
mounted, accordingly, he receiv^ M^ sTott wKai 
ceremony, and insisted upon hunself leading hB horrto 
ft^Ltr- afP'Tr' "^WV^M ^llie,'owever an^ 
tt ^' i1^ ^"'^ I T"*"'** P**P "' Scott, "oit-by 
I «v f -f ., " ''~!f ^««'''" whispered. "Weel. Robin, 
X My, de U hae me rf I's be a bit feared for him now 
IJ, T n J*" '■'" »"'"«'''«». I <hink." Half-a^ozen 
XJl " /^ *^ ^'^^y K**^™^ round "the 

had^ W-.r i^n? ™y °^ "'™""e <*«" compliments 
had set WUhe EUiot at once at his ease. 

hJT^'"^ *° ?*■■• Shortreed, this goodman of Mill- 
burnhohn was the great original of Dandie Dimnont. 

famers that Scott ever visited, there can be little doubt 
ttat he sat for some parts of that inimitable portraiture; 

Z, "'"l"* ^""die to his grave with him, and whose 
thomughbred deathbed scene is told in the Notes to Guy 






Mannering, was first pointed out to Soott by Mr. Short- 
reed himself, several years after the novel had established 
the man's celebrity all over the Border; some accidental 
report about his terriers, and their odd names, having 
alone been turned to account in the original composition 
of the tale. But I have the best reason to believe that 
the kind and manly character of Daudie, the gentle and 
delicious one of his wife, and some at least of the most 
picturesque peculiarities of the minage at Charlieshope, 
were filled up from Scott's observation, years after this 
period, of a family, with one of whose members he had, 
through the best part of his life, a close and affectionate 
connection. To those who were familiar with him, I 
have perhaps already sufficiently indicated the early home 
of his dear friend, William Xiaidlaw, among "the braes 
of Yarrow." 

They dined at Millbumholm, and after having lingered 
over Willie Elliot's punch-bowl, until, in Mr. Short- 
reed's phrase, they were "half-glowrin," mounted their 
steeds again, and proceeded to Dr. Elliot's at Cleughhead, 
wbei-e ("for," says my Memorandum, "folk were na very 
nice in those days ") the two travellers slept in one and 
the same bed — as, indeed, seems to have been the case 
with them throughout most of their excursions in this 
primitive district. This Dr. Elliot had already a large 
MS' collection of the ballads Soott was in quest of; and 
finding how much his guest admired his acquisitions, 
thenceforth exerted himself, for several years, with re- 
doubled diligence, in seiking out the living depositaries 
of such lore among the darker recesses of the mountains. 
"The Doctor," says Mr. Shortreed, "would have gane 
through fire and water for Sir Walter, when he ance 
kenned him." 

Next morning they seem to have ridden a long way, 
for the express purpose of visiting one "auld Thomas 0' 
Twizzlehope," another Elliot, 1 suppose, who was cele- 
brated for his skill on the Border pipe, and in particular 




for being in posMuion of the real lUt of Dick o' the 
Cote. Before starting, that i>, at aix o'clock, the balbd- 
huntere had, "ju.t to ky the Btomaoh, a derilled duck 
or twae, and some Lond<yn porter." Auld Thomas found 
them, nevertheless, well disposed for "breakfast" on 
their arrival at Twiizlehope; and this being over, he 
delighted them with one of the most hideous and un. 
earthly of all the specimens of "riding music," and, 
moreover, with considerable libations of whiskey-punch, 
manufactured in a certain wooden vessel, resembling a 
very small milk-pail, which he caUed "Wisdom," be- 
cause it "made " only a few spoonfuls of spirits — though 
he had the art of replenishing it so adroitly, that it had 
been celebrated for fifty years as more fatal to sobriety 
than any bowl in the parish. Having done due honor to 
"Wisdom," they again mounted, and proceeded over 
moss and moor to some other pqaally hospitable master 
of the pipe. "Eh me," says Shortreed, "sic an endless 
fund o' humor and drollery as he then had wi' him! 
Never ten yards but we were either laughing or roaring 
and singing. Wherever we stopped, how brawlie he 
suited himsel' to everybody! He aye did as the lave 
did; never made himsel' the great man, or took ony airs 
in the company. I've seen him in a' moods in "these 
jaunts, grave and gay, daft and serious, sober and drunk 
—(this, however, even in our wildest rambles, was but 
rare)— but, drunk or sober, he was aye the gentleman. 
He looked excessively heavy and stupid when he was/oa, 
but he was never out o' gnde-humor." 

Jn reaching, one evening, some CharlieaAope or other 
(I forget the name) among those wildernesses, they found 
a kindly reception as usual; but to their agreeable sur- 
prise, after some days of hard living, a measured and 
orderly hospitality as respected liquor. Soon after sup- 
per, at which a bottle of elderberry wine alone had been 
produced, a young student of divinity, who happened to 
be m the house, was called upon to take the "big ha' 



MT. 11 

Bible," in the good old faihion of Biumi'i Siturdsy 
Night; and iome progreM had been already made in the 
•errioe, when the goodman of the farm, whose "ten- 
dency,"as Mr. Mitchell uys, "waa •oporiiio," Handaliied 
hit wife and the dominie by itarting luddenly from hiii 
kneea, and rubbing hia eyea, with a stentorian exclama- 
tion of "By , here 'a the keg at laat! " and in tum- 
bled, as he spake the word, a couple of sturdy herdsmen, 
whom, on hearing a day before of the advocate's ap- 
proaching visit, he had despatched to a certain smuggler's 
haunt, at some considerable distance, in quest of a supply 
of run brandy from the Solway Frith. The pious "ex- 
ercise" of the household was hopelessly interrupted. 
With a thousand apologies for his hitherto shabby enter- 
tainment, this jolly Elliot, or Armstrong, had the wel- 
come keg mounted on the table without a moment's delay, 
and gentle and simple, not forgetting the dojiinie, con- 
tinued carousing about it until daylight streamed in upon 
the party. Sir Walter Scott seldom failed, when I saw 
him in company with his Liddesdala companion, to mimic 
with infinite humor the sudden outburst of his old host, 
on hearing the clatter of horses' feet, which he knew 
to indicate the arrival of the keg — the consternation of 
the dame — and the rueful despair with which the young 
clergyman closed the book. 

" It was in that same season, I think," says Mr. Shortreed, 
" that Sir Walter got from Dr. Elliot the large old border war- 
horn, which ye may still see banging in the armory at Abbots- 
ford. How great he was when he was made master o* that ! 
I believe it had been fonnd in Hermitage Castle — and one of 
the Doctor's servants had used it many a day as a grease-horn 
f or h "s scythe, before they discovered its history. When cleaned 
out, was never a iiair the worse — the original chain, hoop, 
and month-piece of steel, were all entire, just as you now see 
them. Sir Walter carried it home all the way from Liddesdale 
to Jedburgh, slung about his neck like Johnny Gilpin's bottle, 
while I was entrusted with an ancient bridle-bit, which we had 
likewise picked up. 

179* NOTE-BOOKS i8i 

"nw(«lata-|>iid» — Daprid«liMllw . . . 
A luf kaU.(<U7 buw dowi bjr Ua Mt, 
Aad m gnu mtMu Bowt-hora to rmt on had h«,' 

ud maikle and nir we routod on 'I, ud ' botched *nd blew, 
wi" miobt uid main.' O wb«t pleannt d«y» ! And tben »' the 
nooMDM we bad coet oi naething. We never put hand in 
pocket for a week on end. ToU-ban there were none — and 
indeed I think onr bail! ebargee were a feed o' com to our 
horMfl in the gangtn* and comin* at Riccartoun mill." 

It ia a pity that we have no letters of Scott '« deaorib- 
ing thia fint raid into Liddeadalei but aa be must have 
left Kelao for Edinburgh very loon after its concluaion, 
he probably choae to be the bearer of his own tidings. 
At any rate, the wonder perhaps is, not that we should 
have so few lettera of thia period, as that any have been 
recovered. "I ascribe the preservation of my little hand- 
ful," says Mr. Clerk, "to a sort of instinctive prophetic 
•ense of his future greatneaa." 

I have found, however, two note-books, inscribed 
"Walter Scott, 1792," containing a variety of scraps 
and hints which may hCi'p ua to fill up our notion of his 
private studies during that year. He appears to have 
used them indiacriminattly. We have now an extract 
from the author he happened to be reading; now a mem- 
otandum of something that had struck him in conversa- 
tion; a fragment of an essay; transcripts of favorite 
poems; remarks on curious cases in the old records of 
the Justiciary Court; in short, a most miscellaneous col- 
lection, in which there is whatever might have been 
looked for, with perhaps the aingle exception of original 
verse. One of the books opens with: " Vegtam's 
Kvitha, or The Descent of Odin, with the Latin of 
Thomas Bartholine, and the English poetical version of 
Mr. Gray; with some account of the death of Balder, 
both aa narrated in the Edda, and as handed down to us 
by the Northern historians — Auctore Gualtero Scott." 
The Norse original and the two versions are then tran- 





Mt. 31 


Krib«d; and tha hiitorioal aoooimt appended, extending 
to MTen closely written qnsrto pagea, wai, I doubt not, 
read before one or other of bis debating locietiee. Next 
comet a page, headed "Pecuniaiy Diatreu of Charles 
the First," and containing a transcript of a receipt for 
some plate lent to the King in 1048. He then copies 
Langhome's Owen of Carron ; the verses of Canute, on 
passing Ely ; the lines to a cuckoo, given by Warton as 
the oldest specimen of English verse; a translation "by 
a gentleman in Devonshire," of the death-song of Kegner 
Lodbrog; and the beautiful quatrain omitted in Oray't 
Elegy, — 

" Thtn Msttond oft^ tlM •wliMt of tha 7Mr " tto. 

After this we have an Italian canionet, on the praises of 
blue eyes (which were much in favor at this time); sev- 
eral pages of etymologies from Ducange; some more of 
notes on the Morte Arthur ; extracts from the boolu of 
Adjournal, about Dame Janet Beaton, the Lady of Brank- 
some of The Lay of the Last Minstrel, and her husband, 
"Sir Walter Scott of Buooleuoh, called Wicked Wat;" 
other extracts about witches and fairies ; various couplets 
from Ilall's Satires; a passage from Albania; notes on 
the Second Sight, with extracts from Aubrey and Glan- 
ville; a "List of Ballads to be discovered or recovered;" 
extracts from Guerin de Montglave ; and after many more 
similar entries, a table of the Mseso-Gothic, Anglo-Saxon 
and Runic alphabets — with a fourth section, headed Ger- 
man, but left blank. But enough perhaps of this record. 
In November, 1792, Scott and Clerk began their regu- 
lar attendance at the Parliament House, and Scott, to 
use Mr. Clerk's words, "by and by crept into a tolerable 
share of such business as may be expected from a writer's 
connection." By this we aie to understand that he was 
employed from time to time by his father, and probably 
a few other solicitors, in that dreary every-day task- 
work, chiefly of long written informationt, and other 




papen for the Court, on which young oounKllon of the 
Scotch Bar were then expected to beiitow a great deal of 
trouble for very ifanty |)ecuniary remuneration, and with 
•oarcely a chance of finding reeerred for their handa any 
matter that could elicit the diipUy of auperior knowledge 
of understanding. Ho had alw hia part in the caaeii of 
penKMis »uing in forma pauperu ; but how little impor- 
tant thoae that came to hit ihare were, and how alender 
waa the imprewion they had left on his mind, we may 
gather from a note on Bedganntlet, wherein he signifies 
his doubts whether he really had ever been engaged in 
what he has certainly made the cauie cllibn of i»oor 
Peter Peebles. 

But he soon became as famous for his powers of story- 
telling among the bwyers of the Outer-House, as he had 
been among the companions of his High School days. 
The ph«ce where these idler* mostly congregated was 
called, it seems, by a name which sufficiently marks the 
date — it was the Mountain. Here, as Eoger North says 
of the Court of King's Bench in his early day, "there 
was more news than lawj " — here hour after hour passed 
away, week after week, month after month, and year 
after year, in the interchange of light-hearted merriment 
among a circle of young men, more than one of whom, 
in after-times, attained the highest honors of the profes- 
sion. Among the most intimate of Scott's daily asso- 
ciates from this time, and during all his subsequent at- 
tendance at the Bar, were, besides various since-eminent 
persons that have been already named, the first legal an- 
tiquary of our time in Scotland, Mr. Thomas Thomson, 
and William Erskine, afterwards Lord Kinnedder. Mr. 
Clerk remembers complaining one morning on finding 
the group convulsed with laughter, that Duns Scotus had 
been forestalling him in a good story, which he had com- 
municated privately the day before — adding, moreover, 
that his friend had not only stolen, but disguised it. 
"Why," answered he, skilfully waiving the m&In charge, 





"this is always the way with the Baronet. He is oontiii. 
uaUy saying that I chimge his stories, whereas in fact I 
only put a cocked hat on their heads, and stick a cane 
into their hands — to make them fit for going into com- 

The German class, of which we have an account in one 
of the Prefaces of 1830, was formed before the Christmas 
of 1792, and it included almost all these loungers of the 
MomUain. In the essay now referred to Scott traces 
the interest excited- in Scotland on the subject of German 
literature to a paper read before the Royal Society of 
Edinburgh, on the 2l8t of April, 1788, by the author of 
The Man of Feeling. "The literary persons of Edin- 
burgh," he says, "were thep first made aware of the ex- 
istence of works of genius in a language cognate with the 
English, and possessed of the same manly force of ex- 
pression; they learned at the same time that the taste 
which dictated the German compositions was of a kind as 
nearly allied to the English as tlieir language : those who 
were from their youth accustomed to admire Shakespeare 
and Milton, became acquainted for the first time with a 
race of poets, who had the same lofty ambition to spurn 
the flaming boundaries of the universe, and investigate 
the realms of Chaos and Old Night; and of dramatists, 
who, disclaiming the pedantiy of the unities, sought, at 
the expense of occasional improbabilities and extrava- 
gance, to present life on the stage in its scenes of wildest 
contrast, and in all its boundless variety of character. 
. ■ . Their fictitious narratives, their ballad poetry, and 
other branches of their literature, which are particularly 
apt to bear the stamp of the extravagant and the super- 
natural, began also to occupy the attention of the British 
literati. In Edinburgh, where the remarkable coinci- 
dence between the German language and the Lowland 
Scottish encouraged young men to approach this newly 
discovered spring of literature, a class was formed of six 
OT seven intimate friends, who proposed to make them- 




selves acqaainted with the German language. They 
were in the habit of being much together, and the time 
they spent in this new study was felt as a period of great 
amusement. One source of this diversion was the laziness 
of one of their number, the present author, who, averse 
to the necessary toil of grammar, and the rules, was in 
the practice of fighting his way to the knowledge of the 
German by his acquaintance with the Scottish and Anglo- 
Saxon dialects, and of course frequently committed blun- 
ders which were not lost on his more accurate and more 
studious companions." The teacher. Dr. Willioh, a 
medical man, is then described as striving with little 
success to make his pupils sympathize in his own passion 
for the "sickly monotony" and "affected ecstasies" of 
Gessner's Death of Abel; and the young students, hav- 
ing at lengtL acquired enough of the language for their 
respective purposes, as seleotipg for their private pur- 
suits, some the philosophical treatises of Kant, others the 
dramas of Schiller and Goethe. The chief, if not the 
only Kantist of the party, was, I believe, John Mac- 
farlan of Kirkton; among those who turned zealously to 
the popular belles-lettres of Germany were, with Scott, 
his most intimate friends of the period, William Clerk, 
William Erskim , and Thomas Thomson. 

These studies were much encouraged by the example, 
and assisted by the advice, of an accomplished person, 
considerably Scott's superior in standing, Alexander 
Fraser Tytler, afterwards a Judge of the Court of Session 
by the title of Lord Woodhouselee. His version of Schil- 
ler's Bobbers was one of the earliest from the German 
theatre, and no doubt stimulated his young friend to his 
first experiments in the same walk. 

The contemporary familiars of those days almost all 
survive; but one, and afterwards the most intimate of 
them all, went before him; and I may therefore hazard 
in this place a few words on the influence which he exer- 
cised at this critical period on Scott's literary tastes and 

1 86 


studies. 'William Erskine vas the son of an Episcopa- 
lian clergyman in Perthshire, of a good family, but far 
from wealthy. He had received his early education at 
Glasgov, where, while attending the college lectures, he 
was boarded under the roof of Andrew Macdonald, the 
author of Vimonda, who then officiated as minister to 
a small congregation of Episcopalian nonoonformintii. 
From this unfortunate but very ingenious man, Erskine 
had derived, in boyhood, a strong passion for old English 
literature, more especially the Elizabethan dramatists; 
which, however, he combined with a far livelier relish 
for the classics of antiquity than either Scott or his master 
ever possessed. From the beginning, accordingly, Scott 
had in Erskine a monitor who — entering most warmly 
into his taste for national lore — the life of the past — 
and the bold and picturesque style of the original English 
school — was constantly urging the advantages to be de- 
rived from combining with its varied and masculine 
breadth of delineation such attention to the minor graces 
of arrangement and diction as might conciliate the fas- 
tidiousness of modem taste. Deferring what I may have 
to say as to Erskine*s general character and manners, 
until I shall have approached the period when I myself 
had the pleasure of sharing his acquaintance, I introduce 
the general bearing of his literary opinions thus early, 
because I conceive there is no doubt that his companion- 
ship was, even in those days, highly serviceable to Scott 
as a student of the German drama and romance. Di- 
rected, as he mainly was in the ultimate determination of 
his literary ambition, by the example of their great 
founders, he appears to have run at first no trivial hazard 
of adopting the extravagances, both of thought and lan- 
guage, which he found blended in their worhj with such 
a captivating display of genius, and genius employed on 
subjects so much in unison with the deepest of his own 
juvenile predilections. His friendly critic was just, as well 
as delicate; and unmerciful severity as to Uie mingled 




absorditiea and vulgarities of German detail commanded 
deliberate attention from one who admired not less enthu- 
siastically than himself the genuine sublimity and pathos 
of his new favorites. I could, I believe, name one other 
at least among Scott's fellow-students of the same time, 
whose influence was combined in this matter with £r- 
skine's; but his was tluit which continued to be exerted 
the longest, and always in the same direction. That it 
was not accompanied with entire success, the readers of 
The Doom of Devorgoil, to say nothing of minor blem- 
ishes in far better worlis, must acknowledge. 

These German studies divided Scott's attention with 
the business of the courts of law, on which he was at least 
a regular attendant during the winter of 1792-93. 

In March, when the Court rose, he proceeded into 
Galloway, where he liad not before been, in order to 
make himself acquainted with the persons and localities 
mixed up with the case of a certain Bev. Mr. M'Naught, 
minister of Girthon, whose trial, on charges of habitual 
drunkenness, singing of lewd and profane songs, dancing 
and toying at a penny-wedding with a "sweetie wife" 
(that is, an itinerant vender of gingerbread, etc.), and 
moreover of promoting irregular marriages as a justice 
of the peace, was about to take place before the General 
Assembly of the Kirk. 

As his "Case for M'Naught," dated May, 1793, is the 
first of his legal papers that I have discovered, and con- 
tains several characteristic enough turns, I make no apol- 
ogy for introducing a few extracts: — 

At the head of the first class of offences stands the extraor- 
dinary assertion, that, being a Minister of the Gospel, the re- 
spondent had illegally undertaken the office of a justice of pea«e. 
It is, the respondent believes, the first time that ever the under- 
taking an office of such extensive utility was stated as a crime ; 
for he humbly apprehends, that by conferring the office of a 
justice of the peace upon clergymen, their influence may, in the 
general case, be rendered more extensive among their parish- 




ioners, and many trifling causes be settled by them, which might 
lead the litigants to enormous expenses, and become the subject 
of much contention before other courts. The duty being only 
occasional, and not daily, cannot be said to interfere with those 
of their function ; and their education, and presumed character, 
render them most proper for the office. It is indeed alleged 
that the Act 1684, chap. 133, excludes clergymen from acting 
under a commission of the peace. This Act, however, was 
passed at a time when it was of the highest importance to the 
Crown to wrench from the hands of the clergy the power of 
administering justice in ci^-il cases, which had, from the igno- 
rance of the laity, been enjoyed by them almost exclusively. 
During the M-iiole reign of James VI., as is well known to the 
Beverend Court, such a jealousy subsisted betwixt the Church 
and the State, that those who were at the head of the latter en- 
deavored, by every means in their power, to diminish the in- 
fluence of the former. At present, when thesa dissensions 
happily no longer subsist, the law, as far as regards the office 
of justice of the peace, appears to have fallen into disuse, and 
thi^ respondent conceives that any minister is capable of acting 
in that, or any other judicial capacity, provided it is of such a 
nature as not to withdraw much of his time from what the stat- 
ute calls the comfort and edification of the flock committed to 
him. Further, the Act 1584 is virtually repealed by the statute 
6th Anne, c. 6, sect. 2, which makes the Scots Law on the subject 
of justices of the peace the same with that of England, where 
the office is publicly exercised by the clergy of all descriptions. 
. . . Another branch of the accusation i^unst the defender 
as a justice of peace, is the ratification of irregular marriages. 
The defendi r must here also call the attention of his reverend 
brethren and judges to the expediency of his conduct The 
^Is were usually with child at the time the application was 
made to the defender. In this situation, the children bom out 
of matrimony, though begot under promise of marrii^, muKt 
have been thrown upon the parish, or perhaps murdered in in* 
fancy, had not the men been persuaded to consent to a solemn 
declaration of betrothment, or private marriage, emitted before 
the defender as a justice of peace. The defender himself, 
commiserating the situation of such women, often endeavored 
to persuade their seducers to do them justice ; and men fre- 



qnentiy acquiesced in this sort of marriage, when they could by 
no means have been prevailed upon to go through the ceremonies 
of proclamation of banns, or the expense and trouble of a publio 
wedding. The declaration of a previous marriage was some- 
timm literally true ; sometimes a fiction voluntarily emitted by 
the parties themselves, under the beUef that it was the most 
safe way of constituting a private marriage de praenti. The 
defender had been induced, from the practice of other justices, 
to consider the receiving these declarations, whether true or 
false, aa a part of his duty, which he could not decline, even had 
he been willing to do so. FinaUy, the defender must remind 
the Venerable Assembly that he acted upon tiiese occasions aa 
a justice of peace, which brings him back to tiie point from 
which he set out, namely, that the Reverend Court are utterly 
incompetent to take cognizance of his conduct in that character, 
which no sentence that they can pronounce could give or take 

The second grand division of the libel against the defender 
refers to his conduct as a clergyman and a Christian. He was 
charged in the libel with the most gross and vulgar behavior, 
with drunkenness, bUsphemy, and impiety ; yet all the evidence 
which the appellants have been able to bring forward tends only 
to convict him of three acts of drunkenness during the course 
of fourteen years : for even the Presbytery, severe as they have 
been, acquit him quoad ultra. But the attention of the Rever- 
end Court is earnestly entreated to the situation of the defender 
at the time, the circumstances which conduced to his impru- 
dence, and the share which some of those had in occasioning 
his guilt, who have since boon most active in persecuting and 
distressing him on account of it. 

The defender must premise, by observing, that the crime of 
drunkenness consists not in a man's having been in that situa- 
tion twice or thrice in his life, but in the constant and habitual 
practice of the vice i the distinction between eMus and ebrumu 
being founded in common sense, and recognized by Uw. A 
thousand cases may be supposed, in which a man, without being 
aware of what he is about, may be insensibly led on to intoxi- 
cation, especially in a country where the vice is unfortunately 
so common, that upon some occasions a man may go to excess 
from a false sense of modesty, or a fear of disobliging hia 

"i90 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. 21 

«nterUiner. The defender will not deny, that after looing hu 
senses upon the occasions, and in the manner to he afterwards 
stated, he m^.y have committed improprieties which fill him 
with sorrow and regret : but he hopes, Uuit in case he shall be 
able to show circumstances which abridge and palliate the guilt 
of his imprudent excess, the Venerable Court will consider these 
improprieties as the effects of that excess <mly, and not as aris- 
ing from any radical vice in his temper or disposition. When 
a man is bereft of his Judgment by the influence of wine, and 
commits any crime, he can only be said to be morally culpable, 
in proportion to the impropriety of the excess he has committed, 
and not in proportion to the magnitude of its evil consequences. 
In a legal view, indeed, a man must be held as answerable and 
punishable for such a crime, precisely as if he had been in a 
state of sobriety ; but his crime is, in a moral light, comprised 
in the origo malij the drunkenness only. His senses being once 
gone, he is no more than a human machine, as insensible of 
misconduct, in speech and action, as a parrot or an automaton. 
This is more particnlarly the case with respect to indecorums, 
such as the defender is accused of ; for a man can no more be 
held a common swearer, or a habitual talker of obscenity, be* 
cause he has been guilty of using such expressions when intoxi- 
cated, than he can be termed an idiot, because, when intoxicated, 
he has spoken nonsense. If, therefore, the defender can exten- 
uate the guilt of his intoxication, he hopes that its consequences 
will be numbered rather among his misfortunes than faults; 
and that his Reverend Brethren will consider him, while in that 
state, as acting from a mechanical impulse, and as incapable of 
distinguishing between right and wrong. For the scandal which 
bis behavior may have occasioned, he feels the most heartfelt 
sorrow, and will submit with penitence and contrition to the 
severe rebuke which tiie Presbytery have decreed against lum. 
But he cannot think that his unfortunate misdemeanor, cir- 
cumstanced as he was, merits a severer punishment. He can 
show that pains were at these times taken to lead him on, when 
bereft of his senses, to subjects which were likely to call forth 
improper or indecent expressions. The defender must further 
urge, that not being originally educated for the church, he ma;', 
before he assiuned the sacred character, have occasionally per- 
mitted himself freedoms of expression which are reckoned less 




culpable Bmonj,' the laity. Thus he may, during that time, have 
learned the songs which he is accused of singing, though rather 
inconsistent with his clerical character. What, then, was more 
natural, than that, when thrown off his guard by the assumed 
oonviTiality and artful solicitations of those about him, former 
improper habits, though renounced daring his thinking moments, 
might assume the reins of his imagination, when his situation 
rendered him utterly insensible of their impropriety ? 

. . . The Venerable Court will now consider how far three 
instances of ebriety, and their consequences, should ruin at once 
the character and the peace of mind of the unfortunate defender, 
and reduce him, at his advanced time of life, about sixty years, 
together with his aged parent, to a state of beggary. He hopes 
his severe sufferings may be considered as some atonement for 
the improprieties of which he may have been guilty ; and that 
the Venerable Court will, in their judgment, remember mercy. 
In respect whereof, etc. 

Waiter Scott. 

This argument (for irhich he received five guineas) was 
sustained by Scott in a speech of considerable length at 
the Bar of the Assembly. It was far the most important 
business in which any solicitor had as yet employed him, 
and 77ie Cluh mustered strong in the gallery. He began 
in a low voice, but by degrees gathered more confidence; 
■■:... when it became necessary for him to analyze the evi- 
dence touching a certain penny-wedding, repeated some 
very coarse specimens of his client's alleged conversation, 
m a tone so bold and free, that he was called to order 
with great austerity by one of the leading members of 
the Venerable Coort. This seemed to confuse him not 
a little; so when, by and by, he had to recite a stanza 
of one of M'Xaught's convivial ditties, he breathed it 
out in a faint and hesitating style ; whereupou, thinking 
he needed encouragement, the allies in the gallery as- 
tounded the Assembly by cordial shouts of hear ! hear ! 
— eiKXM-e / encore .' They were immediately turned out, 
and Scott got through the rest of his harangue very little 
to his own satisfaction. 




He believed, in a word, that be bad made a complete 
fulure, and iuued from tbe Court in a melancboly mood. 
At the door be found Adam Ferguson waiting to inform 
him that the brethren so unoeremoniously extruded from 
the gallery had sought shelter in a neighboring tavern, 
where they hoped he would join them. He complied with 
tbe invitation, but seemed for a long while incapable of 
enjoying the merriment of his friends. **Come, Ihtns," 
cried the Baronet, — "cheer up, man, and fill another 
tumbler; here 'g • • • • • • going to give us The Tailor." 

— "Ah! " he answered, with a groan, "the tailor was a 
bettor man than me, sirs; for he didna venture ben until 
be kenned the way." A certain comical old song, which 
had, perhaps, been a favorite with the minister of 
Oirthon — 

'* The tailor he eame here to MW, 
And weel he kenn'd the my o't," etc. 

was, however, sung (md chorused; and the evening ended 
in the full jollity of High Jinks. 

Mr. M'Naught was deposed from the ministry, and his 
young advocate has written out at the end of the printed 
papers on the case two of the tongs which had been al- 
leged in the evidence. They are both grossly indecent. 
It is to be observed, that the research he bad made with 
a view to pleading this man's cause carried him, for the 
first, and I believe for the last time, into the scenery of 
his Guy Mannering; and I may add that several of the 
names of the minor characters of the novel (that of 
JWGuffog, for example) rppear in the list of witnessed 
for and against his client. 

If the preceding autumn forms a remarkable point in 
Scott's history, as first introducing him to the manners 
of the wilder Border country, the summer which followed 
lefi iraces of equal importance. He gave the greater 
part of it to an excursion which mnch extended his know- 
ledge of Highland scenery and character; and in particu- 
lar furnished him with the richest stores, which he after- 




wuda turned to aooount in one of the moat beautiful of 
hii great poems, and in several, including the fint, of 
his prose romances. 

Accompanied by Adam Ferguson, he visited on this 
ocoasion some of the finest districts of Stirlingshire and 
Perthshire ; and not in the percursory manner of his more 
boyish expeditions, but talcing up his residence for a 
week or ten days in succession at the family residences of 
several of his young allies of the Mountain, and from 
thence familiarizing himself at leisure with the country 
and the people round about. In this way he lingered 
some time at Tullibody, the seat of the father of Sir 
Kalph Abercromby, and grandfather of his friend Mr. 
George Abercromby (now Lord Abercromby); and heard 
from the old gentleman's own lips his narrative of a 
journey which he had been obliged to make, shortly after 
he first settled in Stirlingshire, to the wild retreat of Rob 
Boy. The venerable laird told how he was received by 
the cateran "with much courtesy," in a cavern exactly 
such as that of Bean Lean ; dined on coUops cut from 
some of his own cattle, which he recognized hanging by 
their heels from the rocky roof beyond ; and returned in 
all safety, after concluding a bargain of hlackmaU — in 
virtue of which annual payment Rob Roy guaranteed the 
future security of his herds against, not his own followers 
merely, but tJl freebooters whatever. Scott next visited 
his friend Edmonstone, at Newton, a beautiful seat close 
to the ruins of the once magnificent Castle of Donne, 
and heard another aged gentleman's vivid recollections 
of all that happened there when John Home, the author 
of Douglas, and other Hanoverian prisoners, escaped 
from the Highland garrison in 1745.' Proceeding to- 
wards the sources of the Teith, he was received for the 
first time under a roof which, in subsequent years, he 
regularly revisited, that of another of his associates, Bu- 
chanan, the young Laird of Cambusmore. It was thus 
' WaotrUTi, ohiip. xxxrUi. Mto. 



JET. 11 



that the soenety of Loch Katrine cune to be so associated 
with "the reoolleotion of many a dear friend and merry 
expedition of former days," that to compose The Lady of 
the Lake was "a labor of love, and no less so to recall 
the manners and incidents introduced." ' It was start- 
ing from the same house, when the poem itself hod made 
some progress, that he put to the test the practicability 
of riding from the banks of Loch Vennachar to the Cas- 
tle of Stirling within the brief space which he had as- 
signed to Fitz-James's Grey Bayard, after the duel with 
Koderick Dhu; and the principal landmarks in the de- 
scription of that fiery progress are so many hospitable 
mansions, all familiar to him at the same period — Blair- 
drummond, the residence of liord Kaimes; Ochtertyre, 
that of John Ramsay, the scholar and antiquary (now 
best remembered for his kind and sagacious advice to 
Bums); and "the lofty brow of ancient Kier," the splen- 
did seat of the chief family of the name of Stirling; from 
which, to say nothing of remoter objects, the prospect 
has, on one hand, the rock of "Snowdon," and in front 
the field of Bannookbnm. 

Another resting-place was Craighall, in Perthshire, 
the seat of the Rattrays, a family related to Mr. Clerk, 
who accompanied him. From the position of this strik- 
ing place, as Mr. Clerk at once perceived, and as the 
author afterwards confessed to him, that of the Tullt/- 
Veolan was very faithfully copied ; though in the descrip- 
tion of the house itself, and its gardens, many features 
were adopted from Bruntsfield and Ravelston.' Mr. 
Clerk has told me that he went through the first chapters 
of Waverley without more than a vague suspicion of the 
new novelist; but that when he read the arrival at Tully- 
Veolan, his suspicion was at once converted into cer- 
tainty, and he handed the book to a common friend of 
his and the author's, saying, "This is Scott's — and I '11 

> Intiodiictioii to Tlit Lad) of the Lake, 1830. 
* WaverUg, eliAp. toL 




lay a b«t yon '11 6nd raoh and such thinga In the next 
chapter." I hope Mr. Clerk will forgive me for men- 
tioning (A« particuhir circumstance that first flashed the 
conviction on hia mind. In the course of a ride from 
Craighall they had both become considerably fagged and 
heated, and Clerk, seeing the smoke of a clachan a little 
way before them, ejaculated — "How agreeable if we 
should here fall in with one of those signposts where a 
red lion predominates over a punch-bowl! " The phrase 
happened to tickle Sc< i's fancy — he often introduced it 
on similar occasions afterwards — and at the distance of 
twenty years Mr. Clerk was at no loss to recognize an 
old acquaintance in the "huge bear" which "predomi- 
nates" over the stone basin in the courtyard of Baron 

I believe the longest stay he made this autumn was at 
Meigle in Forfarshire, the seat of Patrick Murray of 
Simprim, a gentleman whose enthusiastic passion for an- 
tiquities, and especially military antiquities, had jwcu- 
liarly endeared him both to Scott and Clerk. Here 
Adam Ferguson, too, was of the party; and I have 
often heard them each and all dwell on the thousand 
scenes of adventure and merriment whi, h diversifietl that 
visit. In the village churchyard, close beneath Mr. Mur- 
ray's gardens, tradition still points out the tomb of Queen 
Guenever; and the whole district abounds in objects of 
historical interest. Amidst them they spent their wan- 
dering days, while their evenings passed in the joyous 
festivity of a wealthy young bachelor's establishment, or 
sometimes under the roofs of neighbors less refined than 
their host, the Bcdmawhapplea of the Braes of Angus. 
From Meigle they made a trip to Dunnottar Castle, the 
ruins of the huge old fortress of the Earls Marischall, 
and it was in the churchyard of that pUce that Scott then 
saw for the first and last time Robert Faterson, the living 
Old Mortality. He and Mr. Walker, the minister of 
the parish, found the poor man refreshing the epitaphs 





on the tombi of oerUin CameronUm who had fallan 
under the oppreMioni of Junea the Second's brief insan- 
ity. Being invited into the manse after dinner to take 
a ghus of whiskey-punch, "to which he was supposed to 
have no objections," he joined the minister's party ac- 
cordingly; but "he was in bad humor," says Scott, "and, 
to use his own phrase, had no freedom for conversation. 
His spirit had been sorely vexed by hearing, in a certain 
Aberdonian kirk, the pnlmody directed by a pitch-pipe 
or some similar instrument, which was to Old Mortality 
the abomination of abominations." 

It was also while he had his headquarters at Meigle at 
this time that Scott visite<^ for the first time GlammUt 
the residence of the Earls of Strathmore, by far the no- 
blest specimen of the real feudal castle, entire and per- 
fect, that had as yet come under his inspection. What 
its aspect was when he first saw it, and how grievously 
he lamented the change it had undergone when he revis- 
ited it some years afterwards, he has recorded in one of 
the most striking passages that I think ever came from 
his pen. Commenting, in his Essay on Landscape Gar- 
dening (1828), on the proper domestic ornaments of the 
Castle PleasauncCy he has this beautiful burst of lamen- 
tation over the barbarous innovations of the Capability 
men ; — " Down went many a trophy of old magnificence, 
courtyard, ornamented enclosure, fosse, avenue, barbican 
and every external muniment of battled wall and flank- 
ing tower, out of the midst of which the ancient dome, 
rising high above all its characteristic accompaniments, 
and seemingly girt round by its appropriate defences, 
which again circled each other in their different grada- 
tions, looked, as it should, the queen and mistress of the 
surrounding country. It was thus that the huge old 
tower of Glammis, * whose birth tradition notes not,' 
once showed its lordly head above seven circles (if I re- 
member aright) of defensive boundaries, through which 
the friendly guest was admitted, and at each of which a 




•nqiioioo. penon wu aoqi,e.tion.bly put to hi. answer. 
A diMiple of Kent had the eraelty to render thU iplendid 
old mannon (the more modem part of which waa the 
workof Imgo Jonei) more parkiaA, m h,- wu pleated to 
call itj to raie aU thoae exterior dof, . ■» nud brinj hii 
iroan and paltry gravel-walk up t<> tlit ven- d~„ * „m 
which, deluded by the name, one i.,i-i • l,avB i,,,,. .v, .1 
Lady Macbeth (with the form r ■'. iHntji,, .; ."iadu.i-' 
iwuing forth to receive King P.., ti, ft i» ',,.., j^.^, 
and upward* since I hare seen Gl:,:]|., i„ lut V ,!v „'i 
yet forgotten or forgiven the .i,u,itj vl i. I;, . ,„)o, , „.. 
tenoe of improvement, deprivul that l, ula-.e of its 
appropriate accompaniments, 

' L«aTiiv an uwicot donw ud tnwfin -ik i ttioi 
B«nrw'd ud oDtn(«l."' l 

17^ °'^''* ""^ 'P*"' *' *^ y** unproLuiLM Glammis in 
1798 was, as he ehiewhere says, one of the "tico periods 
distant from each other" at which he could recoUect 
experiencing " that degree of superstitious awe which his 
oonntiymen call eerie." 

" The heavy pile," he writes, "contains much in its appearance, 
and in the traditions connected with it, impressive to the imagi 
mation. It was the scene of the monler of a Scottish King of 
great antiquity — not indeed the gracious Duncan, with whom 
the name naturaUy associates itself, but Maleohn II. It con- 
tains aUo a curious monument of the peril of feudal times, being 
a secret chamber, the entrance of which, by the law or custom 
of the famUy, must only be known to three persons at once, 
namely, the Earl of Strathmore, his heir-apparent, and any 
thmi person whom they may take into their confidence. The 
extreme antiquity of the building is vouched by the thickness 
of the waUs, and the wUd straggling arrangement of the ac- 
commodation within doors. As the kte Earl seldom resided at 
GUunmis, it was when I was there but half furnished, and that 
with movables of great antiquity, which, with the pieces of 
chivahic armor hanging on the walls, greatly contributed to the 
general effect of the whole. After a very hospitable reception 
' Wordsworth's Sonnet on Neldpath Csstlo. 






from the late Peter Proctor, aeneachal of the caatle, I wa« con- 
ducted to my apartment in a distant part of the building. 1 
must own, that when I heard door after door shut, after my con- 
ductor had retired, I began to consider myself as too far from 
the living, and somewhat too near the dead. We had passed 
through what is called the King'i Room, a vaulted apartment, 
garnished with stags' antlers and other trophies of the chase, 
and said by tradition to be the spot of Malcolm's murder, and 
I had an idea of the vicinity of the castle chapel. In spite of 
the truth of history, the whole night scene in Macbeth's Castle 
rushed at once upon me, and struck my mind more forcibly 
than even when I have seen its terrors represented by John 
Kemble and his inunitable sister. In a word, I experienced 
sensations which, tho"„n not remarkable for timidity or super- 
stition, did not fail to affect me to the point of being disagree- 
able, while they were mingled at the same time with a strange 
and indescribable sort of pleasure, the recollection of which 
affords me gratification at this moment." ' 

He alludes here to the hospitable reception which had 
preceded the mingled sensationB of this eerie night ; but 
one of his notes on Waverley touches this not unimpor- 
tant part of the story mor. iLstinotly; for we are there 
informed that the »aier hear of Tully-Veolan, "the po- 
culum potatorium of the valiant baron," had its prototype 
at Glammis — a massiTe beaker of silver, double gilt, 
moulded into the form of a lion, the name and bearing of 
the EarU of Strathmore, and containing about an English 
pint of wine. "The author," he says, "ought perhaps to 
be ashamed of recording that he had the honor of swallow- 
ing the contents of the lion ; and the recollection of the 
feat suggested the story of the Bear of Bradwardine." 

From this pleasant tour, so rich in its results, Scott 
returned in time to attend the autumnal assizes at Jed- 
burgh, on which occasion he made his first appearance as 
counsel in a criminal court ; and had the satisfaction of 
helping a veteran poacher and sheep-stealer to escape 
through some of the meshes of the law. "You're a 
^ Letters on Dtmonobsi/ and Witehereift, p. 39S. 




lucky Booundrel," Scott whispered to his client, when the 
verdict was pronounced. "I'm just o' your mind," 
quoth the desperado, "and I'll send ye a maukin* the 
mom, man." I am not sure whether it was at these as- 
sizes or the next in the same town, that he had lesj suc- 
cess in the case of a certain notorious housebreaker. The 
man, however, was well aware that no skill could have 
baffled the clear evidence against him, and was, after his 
fashion, grateful for such exertions as had been made in 
his behalf. He requested the young advocate to visit 
him once more before he left the place. Scott's curiosity 
induced him to accept this invitation, and his friend, as 
soon as they were alone together in the condemned cell, 
said — " I am very sorry, sir, that I have no fee to offer 
you — so let me beg your acceptance of two bits of advice 
which may be useful perhaps when you come to have a 
house of your own. I am done with practice, you see, 
and here is my legacy. Never keep a large watchdog 
out of doorii — we can always silence them cheaply — in- 
deed if it be a dog, 't is easier than whistling — but tie 
a little tight yelping terrier within ; and secondly, put no 
trust in n ^e, clever, gimcrack locks — the only thing 
that bothers us is a huge old heavy one, no matter how 
simple the construction, — and the ruder and rustier the 
key, so much the better for the housekeeper." I remem- 
ber hearing him tell this story some thirty years after at 
a Judges' dinner at Jedburgh, and he summed it up with 
a rhyme — "Ay, ay, my lord," (I think he addressed 
his friend Lord Meadowbank) — 

" Yelpmg: terrier, maty key, 
Wai Walter Scott'i Ixat Jeddart fee." 

At these, or perhaps the next assizes, ho was also 
counsel in an appeal case touching a cow which his client 
had sold as sound, but which the court below (the sheriff) 
had pronounced to have what is called the cliers — a dis- 
ease analogous to glanders in a horse. In opening his 
> Alum. 




caae before Sir David Ba«, liord Eakgrove, Scott stoutly 
maintained the healthiness of the cow, vho, as he said, 
had merely a congh. "Stop there," quoth the judge; 
"I have had plenty of healthy kye in my time, but I 
never heard of ane of them coughing. A ooughin' oov I 
— that will never do. Sustain the sheriff's judgment, 
and decern." 

A day or two after this, Scott and his old companion 
were again on their way into Liddesdale, and "just," 
says the Shortreed Memorandum, "as we were passing 
by Singdon, we saw a grand herd o' cattle a' feeding by 
the roadside, and a fine young bullock, the best in the 
whole lot, was in the midst of them, coughing lustily. 
' Ah,' said Scott, ' what b pity for my client that old 
Eskgrove had not taken Singdon on his way to the town. 
That bonny creature would have saved us — 

" A Daniel come to jadgment, ym a Daniel ; 
O wiae yonng jaigt, how 1 do honor thee I " ' " 


RogEBAint, near Kelao, September 13, 17dS. 

Deab Murbat, — I would have let fly an epistle at 
you long ere this, bad I not known I should have some 
difficulty in hitting so active a traveller, who may in that 
respect be likened unto a bird of passage. Were you to 
follow the simile throughout, I might soon expect to see 
you winging your way to the southern climes, instead of 
remaining to wait the approach of winter in the colder 
regions of the north. Seriously, I have been in weekly 
hopes of hearing of yonr arrival in the Merse, and have 
been qualifying myself by constant excursions to be your 
Border Cicerone. 

As the facetious Linton will no doubt make one of 
your party, I have got by heart for his amusement a 
reasonable number of Border ballads, most of them a 
little longer than Chevy Chase, which I intend to throw 
in at intervals, just by way of securing my share in the 



oonTenation. As for you, a* I know your picturesque 
turn, I can be in this country at no loss how to cater for 
your entertoinment, e«ppeoially if you would think of mov- 
ing before the fall of the leaf. I believe with respect to 
the real To £alon, few villages can surpass that near 
which I am now writing; and as to your rivers, it is part 
of my creed that the Tweed and Teviot yield to none in 
the world, nor do I fear that even in your eyes, which 
have been feasted on classic ground, they will greatly 
■ink in comparison with the Tiber or Po. Then for an- 
tiquities, it is true we have got no temples or heathenish 
fanes to show; but if substantial old castles and ruined 
abbeys will serve in their stead, they are to be found in 
abundance. So much for Linton and you. As for Mr. 
Bobertson,! I don't know quite so well how to bribe him. 
We had indeed lately a party of strollers here, who might 
in some degree have entertained him, j. e., in case he 
felt no compassion for the horrid and tragical murders 
which they nightly committed, — but now, Ala», iSirf the 
playert be gone. 

I am at present very uncertain as to my own motions, 
but I still hope to be northwards again before the com- 
mencement of the session, which (d — n it) is beginning 
to draw nighcr than I could wish. I would esteem my- 
self greatly favored by a few lines informing me of your 
motions when they are settled; since visiting you, should 
I go north, or attending you if you come this way, are 
my two grand plans of amusement. 

What think you of our politics now? Had I been 
within reach of you, or any of the chosen, I suspect the 
taking of Valenciennes would have been sustained as a 
reason for examining the contents of t'other bottle, which 
has too often suffered for slighter pretences. I have 

* Dr. RobertBon was tutor to the Laird of Simprim, and afterwards 
miniater of Meigle — a man of great worth, and an excellent acholar. In 
hij younger days he waa fond of the theatre, and encouraged and dirwsted 
Slmpn'm, Oroyg, Linton ^ Co. in their hiatrimio dlTeraiona. — (1839.) 

aoi SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. 12 

little donbt, however, that by the time we meet in glory 
(terrestrial gloiy, I mean) Dunkirk will be an equally 
good apology. Adieu, my good friend; remember me 
kindly to Mr. Bobertson, to Linton, and to the Baronet. 
1 understand both these last intend seeing you soon. 1 
am very sincerely yours, Walteb Scott. 

The winter of 1793-94 appears to have been passed 
like the preceding one: the German class resumed their 
sittings; Scott spoke in his debating club on the ques* 
tions of Parliamentary Reform and the Inviolability of 
the Person of the First Magistrate, which the circum- 
stances of the time had invested with extraordinary in- 
terest, and in both of which he no doubt took the side 
adverse to the principles of the Knglish, and the practice 
of the French Liberals. His love-affair continued on 
exactly the same footing as before; — and for the rest, 
like the young heroes in Hedgamitlet, he "swept the 
boards of the Parliament House with the skirts of his 
gown; laughed, and made others laugh; drank claret at 
Bayle's, Fortune's, and Walker's, and eat oysters in the 
Covenant Close." On his desk "the new novel most in 
repute lay snugly intrenched beneath Stair's Institute, or 
an open volume of Decisions; " and his dressing-table 
was littered with "old play-bills, letters respecting a 
meeting of the Faculty, Bules of the Speculative, Syl- 
labus of Lectures — all the miscellaneous contents of a 
young advocate's pocket, which contains everything but 
briefs and bank-notes." His professional occupation was 
still very slender; but he took a lively interest in the 
proceedings of the criminal 'wurt, and more especially in 
those arising out of the troubled state of the public feel- 
ing as to politics. 

In the spring of 1794 I find him writing to his frienoii 
in Roxburghshire with great exultation about the "good 
spirit " manifesting itself among the upper classes of the 
citizens of Edinburgh, and, above all, the organization of 




B regiment of volunteers, in which bis brother Thomas, 
now a fine active young man, equally handsome and high- 
spirited, was enrolled as a grenadier, while, as he re- 
marks, his own "unfortunate infirmity" condemned him 
to be "a mere spectator of the drills." In the course of 
the same year, the plan of a corps of volunteer light 
horse was started; and, if the recollection of Mr. Skene 
be accurate, the suggestion originally proceeded from 
Scott himself, who certainly had a principal share in its 
subsequent success. He writes to his uncle at Rose- 
bank, requesting him to be on the lookout for a "strong 
gelding, such as would suit a stalwart dragoon ; " and 
intimating his intention to part with his collection of 
Scottish coins, rather than not be mounted to his mind. 
The corps, however, was not organized for some time; 
and in the mean while he had an opportunity of display- 
ing his zeal in a manner which Captain Scott by no 
means considered as so respectable. 

A party of Irish medical students began, towards the 
end of April, to make themselves remarkable in the 
Edinburgh Theatre, where they mustered in a particular 
comer of the pit, and lost no opportunity of insulting 
the Loyalists of the boxes, by calling for revolutionary 
tunes, applauding every speech that could bear a seditious 
meaning, and drowning the national anthem in howls and 
hootings. The young Tories of the Parliament House 
resented this license warmly, and after a succession of 
minor disturbances, the quarrel was put to the issue of a 
regular trial by combat. Scott was conspicuous among 
the juvenile advocates and solicitors who on this grand 
night assembled in front of the pit, armed with stout 
cudgels, and determined to have God save the King not 
only played without interruption, but sung in full chorus 
by both company and audience. The Irishmen were 
ready at the first note of the anthem. They rose, clapped 
on their hats, and brandished their shillelahs; a stem 
battle ensued, and after many a head had been cracked, 



the Loyaliati at length found themselves in poaseasion of 
tk* field. In writing to Simprim a few daye afterwards, 
Scott says — "You wiU be glad to hear that the iffair of 
Saturday pMsed over withoirt any worse consequence to 
the Loyalists than that five, including your friend and 
humbk servant Colonel Grogg, have been bound over to 
the ^jcice, and obliged to give bail for their good behav- 
ior, which, you may believe, was easily found. The 
said Colonel had no less than three broken heads laid to 
his charge by as maay of the Democrats." Alluding to 
Simprim's then recent appointment as Captain in the 
Ferthahire Fencibles (Cavalry), he adds — "Among my 
own military (I mean mock-military) achievements, let 
me not fail to congratulate you and the country on the 
real character you have agreed to accept. Remember, 
in case of real action, I shall beg the honor of admission 
to your troop as a volunteer." 

One of the theatrical party. Sir Alexander Wood, 
whose notes lie before me, says — " Walter was certainly 
our Coryphseus, and signalized himself splendidly in this 
desperate fray; and nothing used afterwards to afford 
him moi« delight than dramatizing ita incidents. Some 
of the most efBcient of our allies were persons previously 
unknown to him, and of several of these whom he had par- 
ticularly observed, he never lost sight afterwards. There 
were, I believe, oases in which they owed most valuable 
assistarioe in life to his recollection of tht playhous6 
row." To this last part of Sir Alexander's testimony 
1 can also add mine ; and I am sure my worthy friend, 
Mr. Donald M'Lean, W. S., will gratefully confirm it. 
When that gentleman became candidate for some office 
in the Exchequer, about 1822 or 1828 md Sir Walter's 
interest was requested on his beha'f — "To be sure I " 
said he; "did not he sound the c'w.rge upon Faddy? 
Can I ever forget Donald's Sticks by G — t ? " ' 

^ Acoorditig to a fmndly critic, on« of the Liberals exclaimed, M the 
rum was thiokeninfc, " No Bloira 1 ^ — and Donald, sgitini; the action to the 
word, responded, " Ploira by 1 " — (1839.) 




, On the 9th May, 1794, Charlei Kerr of Abhotrulo 
writes to him — 'I was last night at Kosebanlc, and your 
uncle told me he had been giving you a vety long and 
very sage lecture upon the occasion of these Edinburgh 
squabbles ; I am happy to hear they are now at an end. 
They were rather of the serious cast, and though you en- 
countered them with spirit and commendable resolution, 
I, with your uncle, should wish to sec your abilities con- 
spicuous on another theatre." The same gentleman, in 
his next letter (June 3), congratulates Scott on having 
"seen his name in the newspaper," namely, as coun.wl for 
another Koxburghshire hiird, by designation Sedrule. 
Such, no doubt, was Ablyitride's "other theatre." 

Scott spent the long vacation of this year chiefly in 
Roxburghshire, but again visited Keir, Cambusmore, an(i 
others of his friends in Perthshire, and camo to Edin- 
burgh, early in September, to be present at the t-ials of 
Watt and Dowuie, on a charge of high treason. Watt 
seems to have tendered his services to Government as a 
spy upon the Society of the Friends of the People in Edin- 
burgh, but ultimately, considering himself as underpaid, 
to have embraced, to their wildest extent, the schemes he 
had become acquainted with in the course of this worthy 
occupation; and he, and one Downie, a mechanic, were 
now arraigned as having taken a prominent part in the 
organizing of a plot for a general rising in Edinburgh, 
to seize the Castle, the Bank, the persons of the Judges, 
and proclaim a Provisional Republican Government ; all 
which was supposed to have been arranged in concert 
with the Hardies, Thelwalls, Holcrofts, and so forth, 
who were a few weeks later brought to trial in London 
(or an alleged couspiraoy to "summon delegates to a 
National Convention, with a view to subvert the Govern- 
ment, and levy war upon the King." The English pris- 
oners were acquitted, but Watt and Downie were not so 
fortunate. Scott writes as follows to his aunt. Miss Chris- 
tian Rutherford, then at Ashestiel, in Selkirkshire: — 



M.T. 13 


AoTOOATU' LnKABT, 5th SeptamUi, 1194. 
My dear Miu Chriity will perceive, from the date of 
thia epiatle, that I have accomplished my purpoae of 
coming to town to be present at the trial of the Edin- 
)' '.rgh traitors. I arrived here on Monday evening from 
Xelso, and was present at Watt's trial on Wednesday, 
vl.-' h displayed to the public the most atrocious and ie- 
1i! ;;j:t .' plan of villainy which has occurred, perhaps, in 
t' .innals of Great Britain. I refer you for particulars 
1} the papers, and shall only add, that the equivocations 
and perjury of the witnesses (most of them being accom- 
plices in what they called the great plan) set the abilities 
of Mr. Anstruther, the King's counsel, in the most strik- 
ing point of view. The patience and temper with which 
he tried them on every side, and screwed out of them tho 
evidence they were so anxious to conceal, showed much 
knowledge of human nature ; and the art with which he 
arranged the information he received, made the trial, 
upon the whole, the most interesting 1 ever was present 
at. Downie's trial is just now going forwards over my 
head; but as the evidence is just the suae as formerly 
brought against Watt, is not so interesting. You will 
easily believe that on Wednesday my evriosity was too 
much excited to retiro at an early hour, and, indeed, I sat 
in the Court from seven in the morning till two thr> next 
morning; but as I had provided myself wilh some oold 
meat and a bottle of wine, I contrived to support the 
fatigue pretty N/ell. It strikes me, upon the whole, that 
the plau of these miscreants might, from its very desper- 
ate and improbable nature, have had no small chance of 
succeeding, at least as far as concerned cutting off the sol- 
diers, and obtaining possession of the hanks, besides shed- 
ding the blood of the most distingnished inhabitants. 
There, I think, the evil must have stopped, unless they 
had further support than has yet afipeared. Stooks was the 
prime mover of the whole, and die person who supplied 
the money; and oar theatrical disturbances are foumi to 

I'j' \ 


MMm. Stock. Bopk, etc., would have found out . new 

cent upon thi» grand occion, «,d .eem to interest ?hem. 
^Te, very irnle in the fate of their .ol-dUaMf^,. 
The Edinburgh volunteer, make a respectable imd for 

"ou» alZr™""."'"'^?-. "^"y "^^Bxercised four 
hour, almost every day, with all the rigor of militarv 
d.«>.phne. The grenadie. company consist, enti^lH 
men above s,x feet. So much for public news. ^ 

.^^'a ",:';, '°'«!"8e'"'«-yon know that my mother 
and Anne ]u«l projected a jo«„< to Inverloithen ; f^ 
however, had destmed otherwise. The intended day o 
departure was ushered in by a most complete deluge, to 
T™ .11' A^^ ""■"^luent disappointment, our pro^sed 
travellers d.d not submit with that Christian meekness might have beseemed. In short, both within and 
without doors,^ was a devU of a day. The second was 
hke unto ,t The third day came a post, a killing post!' 
and m the shape of a letter from this fountain of hc^th, 
mformed us no lodgings were to be had there; so, what- 
ever be ,ts virtues, or the grandeur attending a joumcv 
to Its streams, we might as weU have proposed to visit 
Uie river Jordan, or the waUs of Jericho. Not so our 
heroic John; he has been arrived here for some time 
(much the same as when he went away), and has formed 
the desperate resolution of riding out with me to Kelso 
to-morrow morning. I have stayed a day longer, waiting 
for fte arrival of a pair of new boots and buckskin etcs!! 
m which the soldier is to be equipt. I ventured to hint 
the convenience of a roll of diaculnm plaister, and a box 
Of the most approved horseman-salve, in which recom- 
mendation our doctor^ warmly joined. Hi. impatience 
for the journey has been somewhat cooled by some incli- 
' " Ik» tUid iJ»y comos a f™*, s kiUing fm«.- 

i''»J Biory VIII. 



M.r. »3 

nation yeitorday dUpUjed by hia ohmrger (« pony be- 
longing to Anne) to l»y hii warlike rider in the duit — 
a purpoee he had nearly effected. lie next mounted 
Queen Mab, who treated him with little more oomplai- 
aance, and, in carter*' phraie, would neither hap nor 
vn/nd till ihe got rid of him. Seriously, however, if 
Jack hai not returned covered with laurela, a crop which 
the Rook> no longer produoea, he haa brought back all 
hia own good-nature, and a manner conaiderably im- 
proved, eo that he ia at timea very agreeable company. 
Beat love to Miaa K., Jean, and Anne (I hope they are 
improved at the battledore), and the boyf., not forgetting 
my friend Archy, though leaat not laai in my remem- 
brance. Beat complimenta to the Colonel.' I ahall 
remember with pleasure Aaheatiel hospitality, and not 
without a desire to put it to the proof next year. Adieu, 
ma chfere amie. When you write, direct to Rosebank, 
and I ahall be a good boy, and write you another aheet 
of nonsense soon. All friends here well. Ever yours 
affectionately, Walteb Scott. 

The letter, of which the following is an extract, must 
have been written in October or November — Soott hav- 
ing been in Liddesdale, and again in Perthshire, during 
the interval. It is worth quoting for the little domestic 
allusions with which it concludes, and which every one 
who has witnessed the discipline of a Presbyterian family 
of the old school, at the time of preparation for the Com- 
munion, will perfectly understand. Scott's father, though 
on particular occasions he could permit himself, like 
Saunders Fairford, la play the part of a good Amphi- 
iijon, was habitually ascetic in his habits. I have heard 
his son tell, that it was common with him, if any one 
observed that the soup was good, to taste it again, and 

1 Captain John Scott had b«en for tome time with his ngiment it 
> Colonel Riuiell of Aeheetiel, married to a sister of Soott'e mother. 


••J) — "Ywi it it too good, bainu," ud duh » tumbler 
of oold mter into liU pUte. It ii euy, therefore, to 
imagine witli what rigidity he muat hare enfoived the 
nltra-Catholic aeveritiei which marked, in thoae daye, the 
yearly or half-yearly retnat of the deaoeudanta of John 

TO Ktaa OHBiniAir buthxbfobo, uBxarizL. 
Preriou* to my ramble, I itayed a •ingks day in town, 
to witneu the exit of the ci-devant Jacobin, Mr. Watt. 
It waa a very solemn icene, but the puiillauimity of the 
unfortunate victim was astonishing, considering the bold- 
ness of his nefarious plana. It is matter of general re- 
gret that his associate Downie should have received a 
reprieve, which, I understand, is now prolonged for a 
second month, I suppose to wait the issue of the London 
trials. Our volunteers are now completely embodied, 
and, notwithstanding the heaviness of their dress, have 
a martial and striking appearance. Their accuracy in 
firing and manoeuvring excites the surprise of military 
gwtlemen, who are the best judges of their merit in that 
way. Tom is very proud of the grenadier company, to 
which he belongs, which has indisputably carried off the 
pahn upon all public occasions. And now, give me leave 
to ask you whether the approaching winter does not re- 
mind you of your snug parlor in George's Street? Do 
you not feel a little uncomfortable when you see 

"hov bleak and bus 
Ha wandan o'ar tba haiffhta af Tair T " 

Amidst all this regard for your accommodation, don't 
suppose I am devoid of a little self-interest when I press 
your speedy return to Auld Beekie, for I am really tiring 
excessively to see the said parlor again inhabited. Be- 
sides that, I want the assistance of your eloquence to 
convince my honored father that Nature did not mean me 
either for a vagabond or travelling merchant, when she 


"Ktocory nsounioN ?«t oun 



11 1^^^ 

j^ia -^ 

SliS *- 


S |« |2.0 



^ III '-6 



MT, 23 

honored me with the wandering propensity lately so con- 
spicuously displayed. I saw DT yesterday, who is well. 
I did not choose to intrude upon the little lady, this being 
sermon week ; for the same reason we are looking very 
religious and very sour at home. However, it is with 
some folk selon les regies, that in proportion as they are 
pure themselves, they are entitled to render uncomfort- 
able those whom they consider as less perfect. Best love 
to Miss K., cousins and friends in general, and believe 
me ever most sincerely yours, Walter Scott. 

In July, 17^5, a young lad, James Niven by name, 
who had served for some time with excellent character on 
board a ship of war, and been discharged in consequence 
of a wound which disabled one of his hands, had the mis- 
fortune, in firing off a toy cannon in one of th^ narrow 
wynds of Edinburgh, to kill on the spot David Knox, 
one of the attendants of the Court of Session ; a button, 
or some other hard substance, having been accidentally 
inserted with his cartridge. Scott was one of his counsel 
when he was arraigned for murder, and had occasion to 
draw up a written argument or information for the pris- 
oner, from which I shall make a short quotation. Con- 
sidered as a whole, the production seems both crude and 
clumsy, but the following passages have, I think, several 
traces of the style of thought and language which he 
afterwards made familiar to the world: — 

" Murder," he writes, " or the premeditated slaughter of a 
citizen, is a crime of bo deep and scarlet a dye, that there ia 
scarce a nation to be fonnd in which it has not, from the earliest 
period, been deemed worthy of a capital punishment. ' He 
who sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed,' is 
a general maxim which has receii ed the assent of all times and 
countries. But it is equally certain that even the rude legisla- 
tors of former days soon perceived that the death of one man 
may be occasioned by another, without the slayer himself being 
the proper object of the lex talionia. Such an accident may 



happen either by the carelessness of the killer, op through that 
excess and vehemence of passion to which humanity is incident. 
In either case, though bUmable, he ought not to be confounded 
with the cool and deliberate assassin, and the species of crimi- 
nality attaching itself to those acts has been distinguished by the 
tenn dotm, in opposition to the milder term cilpa. Again, 
there may be a third species of homicide, in which the perpe- 
trator being the innocent and unfortunate cause of casual mis- 
fortane, becomes rather an object of compassion than punish- 
ment. '^ 

"Admitting there may have been a certain degree of culpa- 
bility m the panel's conduct, still there is one circumstance 
which pleads strongly in his favor, so as to preclude all pre- 
sumption of dok. This is the frequent practice, whether proper 
or improper, of using this amusement in the streets. It is a 
matter of public notoriety, that boys of aU ages and descriptions 
are, or at least till the late veiy proper procUmation of the 
magistrates were, to be seen every evening in almost every 
comer of this city, amusing themselves with fire-arms and smaU 
rannons, and that without being checked or interfered with. 
When the panel, a poor ignorant raw lad, lately discharged from 
a stap of war — certainly not the most proper school to learn a 
prudent aversion to unlucky or mischievous practices — observed 
the sons of gentlemen of the first respectability engaged in such 
amusements, unchecked by their parents or by the magistrates, 
surely It can hardly be expected that he should discover that in 
mntabng them in so common a pracUce, he was constituting 
himself A<w«M kumani generU, a wretch the pest and scourge 
of mankind. 

" There is, no doubt, attached to every even the most innocent 
of casual slaughter, a certoin degree of blame, inasmuch as 
almost everything of the kind might have been avoided had the 
sUyer exhibited the strictest degree of dUigence. A well-known 
and authentic story wiU iUustrate the proposition. A young 
gentleman, just married to a young Udy of whom he was pas- 
sionately fond, in affectionate trifling presented at her a pistol, 
of which he had drawn the charge some days before. The 
lady, entering into the joke, desired him to fire : he did so, and 
shot her dead ; the pistol having been again charged by his ser- 
vant without his knowledge. Can any one read this story, and 

il' , 


jEt. 14 

feel any emotion bat that of Bympathy towards the unhappy 
husband ? Can they ever connect the case with an idea of 
punishment? Yet, divesting it of these interesting circum- 
stances which act upon the imi^ination, it is precisely that of 
the panel at your Lordships* Bar ; and though no one will pre> 
tend to say that such a homicide is other t^an casual, yet there 
is not the slightest question but it might have been avoided had 
the killer taken the precaution of examining his piece. But 
this is not the degree of etUpa which can raise a misfortune to 
the pitch of a crime. It is only an instance that no accident can 
take place without its afterwards being discovered that the chief 
actor might have avoided committing it, had he been gifted 
with the spirit of prophecy, or with such an extreme degree of 
prudence as is almost equally rare. 

" In the instance of shooting at butts, or at a bird, the person 
killed must have been somewhat in the line previous to the dis* 
charge of the shot, otherways it could never have come near 
him. The shooter must therefore have been guilty culptB levia 
seu levisaivuB in firing while the deceased was in such a situa- 
tion. In like manner, it is difficult to conceive how death 
should happen in consequence of a boxing or wrestling match, 
without some excess upon the part of the killer. Nay, in the ex- 
enise of the martial amusements of our forefathers, even by 
royal commission, should a champion be slain in running his 
burieis, or performing his tournament, it could scarcely happen 
without some culpa aeu levia seu levisstTna on the part of his 
antagonist. Tet all these are enumerated in the English law- 
books as instances of casual homicide only ; and we may there- 
fore safely conclude, that by the law of the sister country a 
slight degree of blame will not subject the slayer per infortu- 
nium to ihe penalties of culpable homicide. 

" Guilt, as an object of punishment, has its ori^ in the mind 
and intention of the actor ; and therefore, where that is want- 
ing, there is no proper object of chastisement. A madman, for 
example, can no more properly be said to be guilty of murder 
than the sword with which he commits it, both being equally 
incapable of intending injury. In tho present case, in like 
manner, although it ought no doubt to be matter of deep sorrow 
and contrition to the panel that his folly should have occasioned 
the loss of life to a fellow-creature ; yet as that folly can nei- 




ther be termed malice, nor yet doth amonnt to a gnwa negU- 
gence, he ought vather to be pitied than condemned. The fact 
done can never be recaUed, and it rests with your Lordships to 
consider the case of this unfortunate young man, who has served 
hie country in an humble though useful sution, — deserved 
such a character as is given him in the letter of his officers, — 
and been disabled in that service. You will best judge how 
(considermg he hae suffered a confinement of six months) he 
can in humanity be the object of further or severer punishment, 
for a deed of which his mind at least, if not his band, is guilt- 
less. When a case is attended with some nicety, your Lord- 
ships wil'. aUow mercy to incline the baUnce of justice, weU 
considering with the legisktor of the East, ' It is better ten 
gnil^ should escape than that one innocent man should perish 
u his innocence.' " 

The young saUor wag acquitted. 

To return for a moment to Scott's love-a£fair. I find 
hun writing as follows, in March, 1795, to his cousin, 
WiUiam Scott, now Laird of Baebum, who was then in 
the East Indies: — "The hidy you aUude to has been in 
town all this winter, and going a good deal int» pub- 
lic, which has not in the lea-t altered the meekness 
of her manners. Matters, you see, stand just as they 

To another friend he writes thus, from Sosebank, on 
the 23d of August, 1795: — 

It gars me the highest satisfaction to find, by the 
receipt of your letter of the 14th current, that you have 
formed precisely the same opinion with me, both with 
regard to the interpretation of [Miss Stuart's] letter as 
highly flattering and faTorable, and to the mode of con- 
duct I ought to pursue — for, after all, what she has 
pointed out is the most prudent line of conduct for us 
boft, at least tiU better days, which, I think myself now 
entitled to suppose, she, as well as I myself, will look 
forward to with pleasure. If you were surprised at read- 



iET. 24 

ing the important billet, yon ma; guess how agreeably I 
was so ttt receiving it; {or I had, to anticipate disappoint- 
ment, struggled to suppress every rising gleam of hope; 
and it would be very difficult to describe the mixed feel- 
ings her letter occasioned, which, entre nom, terminated 
in a very hearty fit of crying. I read over her epistle 
about ten times a day, and always with new admiration 
of her generosity and candor — and as often take shame 
to myself for the mean suspicions, which, after knowing 
her so long, I could listen to, while endeavoring to guess 
how she would conduct herself. To tell you the truth, 
I )?annot but confess that my amour pTOpre, which one 
would expect should have been exalted, has suffered not 
a little upon this occasion, through a sense of my own 
vnworthinesBi pretty similar to that which afflicted Lin- 
ton upon sitting down at Keir's table. I ought perhaps 
to tell you, what indeed you will perceive from her letter, 
that I was always attentive, while consulting with you 
upon the subject of my declaration, rather to under- than 
over-^te the extent of our intimacy. By the way. I 
must not omit mentioning thp respect in which I hold 
your knowledge of the fair sex, and your capacity of 
advising in these matters, since it certainly is to yocr 
encouragement that I owe the present situation of my 
affairs. I wish to God, that, since you have acted as so 
useful an auxiliary during my attack, which has suc- 
ceeded in bringing the enemy to terms, you would next 
sit down before some fortress yourself, and were it as 
impregnable as the rock of Gibraltar, I should, notwith- 
standing, have the highest expectations of your final suc- 
cess. Not a line from poor Jack — What can he be 
doing? Moping, I suppose, about some watering-place, 
and deluging his guts with specifics of every kind — or 
lowering and snorting in one comer of a post-chaise, with 
Kennedy, as upright and cold as a poker, stuck into the 
other. As for Linton, and Crab, I anticipate with plea- 
sure their marvellous adventures, in the course of which 


Dr. Black's tdf-denying ordinance will run a »hrewd 
chance of being neglected.' They will be a source of 
fun for the winter evening conversations. Methinks I 
see the pair upon the mountains of Tipperary — John 
with a beard of three inches, united and blended with 
his shaggy black locks, an eUwand-looking cane with a 
gilt head in his hand, and a bundle in a handkerchief 
over his shoulder, exciting the cupidity of every Irish 
raparee who passes him, by his lesemblanoe to a Jew 
pedlar who has sent forward his pack — Linton, tired of 
trailing his long legs, exalted in state upon an Irish gar- 
ron, without stirrups, and a halter on its head, tempting 
every one to ask — 

" Wfao is that DpoD tli* p<nij 
So loDff, M leu, 10 nw, 10 bony ? '* > 

— calculating, as he moves along, the expenses of the 
salt horse — and grinning a ghastly smile, when the hol- 
low voice of his fellow-traveller observes — "God ! Adam, 
if ye gang on at this rate, the eight shillings and seven- 
pence halfpenny will never carry us forward to my 
uncle's at Lisbum." Enough of a thorough Irish expe- 

We have a great marriago towards here — Scott of 
Harden, and a daughter of Count Briihl, the famous 
chess-player, a lady of sixteen quarters, halt-sister to the 
Wyndhams. I wish they may come down soon, as we 
shall have fine racketing, of which I will, probably, get 
my share. I think of being in town some time next 
month, but whether for good and all, or only for a visit, 

' Crab WM the niefaume ol s friend i>ho bad sammpuiied Fergiuoii 
tUe nimiiMr on an Iiih tour. Dr. Blaok, oelebraM for bla diuoreriea 
m chemiatry. vaa Adam Fergnaoa'a uncis i and had, it leema, giTm 
the Tonng travellen a strong admonition tooohinc the damren of Iriah hoa- 

" Theaelineearepartof a eong on Ii«i«Jony — i.«., the Parliamentary 
orator Littleton. Theyare (jnotad iiiB<»weU'ai</e«/- Jo»a»n,originany 
pnhliahad in 1791. 




I . ! 

4i6 SIR WALTER SCOTT jtr.i^ 

I am not certain. Oh.forNoTemWI Our meeting will 
be a little embamtiing one. How wiU she look, etc., 
etc., etc., are the important nibjecta of my preient con- 
jecture*— how different from what they were three weeki 
ago! I give you leave to kugh when I tell you wrioMly, 
1 had began to "dwindle, peak, and pine," upon the 
subject — but now, after the charge I have received, it 
were a shame to resemble Pharaoh's lean kine. If good 
living and plenty of exercise can avert that calamity, I 
am in httle danger of disobedience, and so, to conclude 
Dicite Id p<ean, et lo bis -licite p<Ban! — 
Jubeo te bene valere, 

GcALTEBUs Scott. 

I have had much hesitation ibout inserting the preced- 
ing letter, but could not make up my mind to omit what 
seems to me a most exquisite revelation of the whole char- 
acter of Scott at this critical period of his history, both 
literary and personal;— more especially of his habitual 
effort to suppress, as far aa words were concerned, tie 
more tender feelings, which were in no heart deeper than 
in his. 

It mast, I think, have been, while be was indulging 
b» mgahond vein, during the autunm of 1T95, that Mrs. 
Barbauld paid her visit to Edinburgh, and entertained a 
par^ at Mr. Dagald Stewart's, by reading Mr. WiUiam 
Tpylor's then unpublished version of Burgar's Liiioie. 
In the essay on Imitation of Popular Poetry, the reader 
has a full account of the interest with which Scott heard, 
some weeks afterwards, a friend's imperfect recoUections 
of this performances the anxiety with which he sought 
after a copy of the original German; the delight with 
which he at length perused it; and how, having just been 
reading the specimens of ballad poetry introduced into 
lewis's romance of The Monk, he called to mind the 
early facility of versification which had lain so long in 


oitonent which «,t .leep .t deSl"" ""° ' "*" °' «• 
t„M-^°"'°*'' '*''"« breakfast, he carried his MS 

„7!^rt • *?"" " ^""^ reooUeotion of the high strain 
of enthusiasm into which he had been exalted rdtcU 

£r.:irtor^,xtiirtd"; ;rwu:d^ 

»i for:™; "?*'?^ *" '■»■' »' '"« «™ »"»* -d 

^hZhZt, *V' "f]" '" "' '^gf- burst out 

btt theii sii'^*i'trceTrjr''"''»"^ 

be had no doubt this w°sh n^I.M ™^ '"8*™' 






■i. .1 


('! : 


i' )l 

ai8 SIR WALTER SCOTT ^t. 44 

of a similar poiition in hia dreasins-rooia at Abbsti- 

All thia ooourred in the beginning of April, 1796. A 
few daya afterw^irda, Scott went to pay a viait at a ooon- 
try houae, where he expected to meet the "lady of hii 
love." Jane Anne Cranatoun waa in the secret of hit 
attachment, and knew, that however doubtful might be 
Mias [Stuart'a] feeling on that aubject, she had a high 
admiration of Scott'a abilitiea, and often coneaponded 
with him on literary matters; ao, after he had left Edin- 
burgh, it occurred to her that she might perhapa forward 
hia viewa in thia quarter, by presenting him in the char- 
acter of a printed author. William Erskine being called 
into her councils, a few oopiea of the ballad were forth- 
with thrown off in the moat elegant atyle, and one, richly 
bound and blazoned, followed Scott in the courae of a 
few daya to the country. The versea were read and ap- 
proved of, and Mias Cranatoun at least flattered heraelf 
that he had not made his first appearance in types to no 

I ought to have mentioned before, that in June, 1795, 
he waa appointed one of the curators of the Advocates' 
Library, an office always reserved for those membera of 
the Faculty who have the reputation of auperior zeal in 
literary affairs. He had for colleagues David Hume, 
the Professor of Scots Law, and Malcolm Laing, the 
historian ; and his discharge of his functions must have 
given satisfaction, for I find him further nominated, in 
March, 1796, together with Mr. Bobert Hodgson Cay — 
an accomplished gentleman, afterwards Judge of the 
Admiralty Court in Scotland — to "put the Faculty's 
cabinet of medals in proper arrangement." 

1 Sir A. WoodwaahiiDMlf theun of a dJitiapiiilied nu^Mn b Edia. 
bntgh. He manied om of tb« danghten of Sir Williaiii Forbflo — row ia 
the diplomatie lerrioe — ud died in 1840. — (1848.) 

* Thli etorr wee told ij the Cooiiteea of Fugetall on her dertUxd te 
Captain Banl Hall. See hia SdUeu HaiVW, p. 333. 


On the 4th of June, 1796 (the birthdav of Oeorm IIT ^ 

■doniblo." ' ""dence of the "ohire 

ri<^^ wflft "^•1^°*^'''8'''»"""'^ 'hat you, cu- 
events of the long^xpected 4th of June, I take the n.n 

X-how r-"^""-'" '" *** preservation of The 
!»««>- how their wrvice. were accepted -what flna 
peeche, were m«Je upon the occa,ion^L C wte 
furnished with pretty painted brown batonZlZ Zy 

^ted"rtS"', ".'^'' r'" "' ««' New Ch„5 tj 
Kfo^ <='"«» «»d"weetnieat,-Ao,„ Sir John 
Whteford was chased by the mob, and how Tom, Sandy 

d„„ T'u*. iato»,_Ao«, the Justice-Clerk'. wi" 
dow. were broke by a few boys, and how a large b^y rf 
»n.tables and a press-gang of near two hu^d Lu 
eSeW "*"*."""'' ••'»PI»i"<»d «' finding the co,^" 
^« te' V? """'"'he' "-""e™ of equal impor- 
,^^„ Vn "^'"^ ^''" """* •» '»''*en'e<l ^ "main in 
Sr^tl .r "*""'.*<'?<>" castle. Seriously, ever^" 

TL. t ' ""fP""" "^ ^h" "T trifling circiZ- 
stances above mentioned, was perfe<rtly quiet -mtl 

b«^-„r^ *™' J"""*'- ''«"" *^' something is 

wTnTf.^"- ^ "" ^P'"^' *^' Democrats, which tiy 
w^n ^e their own time of bringing forward. By the 
wse precaution, of the magistrate!, or rather of t^^p™! 



a 30 

Tott, and the spirited condoot of the gentlemen, I hope 
their design* will Ln fnutnted. Our ■uociktion meet* 
to-night, when we are to be divided into diitricte accord- 
ing to the place of our abode, places of rendeivons and 
captains named; so that, upon the hoisting of a flag on 
the Tron-steeple, and ringing out all the Urge bells, we 
can be on du^ in less than five minutes. I am sony to 
•ajr that the complexion of the town seems to justify all 
precautions of this kind. I hope we shall demean our- 
selves a* quiet and peaceable magistrates; and intend, 
for the purpose of learning the duties of my new office, 
to con diligently the instructions delivered to the watch 
by our brother Dogberry, of facetious memory. So much 
for information. By way of inquiry, pray let me know 
— that is, when you find a very idle hour — how you ac- 
complished the perilous passage of her Majestie's Ferry 
without the assisttnce and escort of your preux-chevalier, 
and whether you will receive them on your return — how 
Miss R. and you are spending your time, whether station- 
ary or otherwise — above all, whether you have been at 
[Invermay] and all the etos., etcs., which the question in- 
volves. Having made out a pretty long scratch, which, 
as Win Jenkins says, will take you some time to de- 
cipher, I shall only inform you farther, that I shall tin 
excessively till you return to your shop. I beg to be 
remembered to Miss Kerr, and in particular to La Belle 
Jeanne. Best love to Miss Rutherford; and believe me 
ever, my dear Miss Christy, sincerely and affectionately 
your Walter Scott. 

During the autumn of 1796 he visited again his favor- 
ite haunts in Perthshire and Forfarshire. It was in 
the course of this tour that he spent a day or two at 
Montrose with his olu tutor Mitchell, and astonished and 
grieved that worthy Presbyterian by his zeal about 
witches and fairies.' The only letter of his, written dur- 
1 8m dXt, p. Iff. 




God are loud in their ^ti^Z "^w '^'' "'' '*" '"«* "' 
i. the neighborhood of CZ J. Ld"^**"' ",■"" ' "" 

you but dtiidyZ tr^i":,d°Lcr'f • «'«' 

'w, MTerl I ,m dying for y„„, „oUection of exploit.! 
' A serrant-boj ud pony. 


i >i'i 


iCT. 25 

When will 700 retorn ? In the mean time, Heaven speed yon I 
Be sober, and hope to the end. 

William Taylor's translation of yonr ballad is pnblished, 
and so inferior, that I wonder we coold tolerate it. Dngald 
Stewart nad yours to * * * * the other day. When he came to 
the fetter dance,* he looked up, and poor ***** ^^as sitting 
with his hands nailed to his knees, and the big tears rolling 
down his innocent nose in so piteous a manner, ^t Mr. Stew- 
art could not help bursting out a4aughing> An angry man wai 
*****. I have seen another edition, too, but it is below 
contempt So many copies make the ballad famous, so that 
every day adds to your renown. 

This here place is very, very dnii. Erskine ia in London ; 
my dear Thomson at Daily ; Macfarlan hatching Kant — and 
George ' FountainhalL* I have nothing more to tell you, but 
that I am most affectionately yours. Many an anxious thought 
I have about you. Farewell. — J. A. C 

" ' Dort fear ? do«t fear ? — The moon ihinea clear ; 
Dost fear to ride with me ? 
Hnrrah I hoiiah t the dead ean ride I * — 
'Oh, William, let them be I' 

" * See then I see there 1 What yonder awings 
And creates 'mid whistling i^n ? * — 
Gibbet and steel, the aooorsed wheel, 
A murderer in hii ohain. 

** * Hollo I thon felon, follow here, 
To bridal bed we ride ; 
And thon shalt pranoe a fetter danca 
Before me and my bride.' 

" And hurry, hurry I daah, elaah, c^ wb 1 
The wasted form desoands ; 
And fleet as wind, through hazel bosh, 
The wild career a 

** Tramp, tramp I along the land they rode ; 
Splash, splash I along the sea ; 
The scoarge is red, the spur drops blood. 
The flaahing pebbles flaa." 

3 George Cranstoun, Lord Corehouse. 
* Deoiaiona by Lord Foantainhall. 

'796 LOVE-AFFAIR ^.^ 

livS'ant^r:::^!:"' ""^^ --t-™ took „ 

TOWS had flnaUy promised l,.,Tj ""?.*''« Wy of his 
and, when the "7^1 ^ *" '" '^"'•'o "''^•• 
knew Scott the bert " r^T°^' "O"' »* "«•» who 

pointnient might have ^ ht fef^l;'! "" ''T 
one of tiose brother. „f ,1 ','°*'™g»- *or example, 

to anothe^f ttl" 'f^lf r?^"'" ™"« ■" f"""" 

I alwayl dreaded th^rl^^' V ""^ K""** "«»'»• 

part oIoT^Z^^t^Td lTr""'".rr »■' """ 
violence of his most ir^t^w } "'"' '^'"^'^^^ »' *i« 
Who is it that 17 'Xn t""^-^"^™.™"' ""'*• 
eaten them, but nTf^r^^^Vh™ '^' "T? '"'™ 
be verified on this ocoii^^ ^ ''"P" ''""'^"'y '' "»? 

.«o'nTd„5th'eriIL';ylidettK "r^^^" '"' 
Mhj. Cranstfun-s h«.t lelr'Xdet ""'"""' *» ''"■"' 

the period. His orLZ^if„"'2f J""' °*^ '^''*'' "' 
time when he had laid aside tte tht^ V ™°-i"'°S «"« 
did sometime, commit" a soLn^'l "* ^f"'''""''"'' •"> 

poor/lwo tl7of ^Ctt: r LT^ ''^ 
the English MinsSlsy,^dtLM„„tr " ™'"",? °' 

"anner, and said, I remember weU, that when I flrsl 


224 SIR WALTER SCOTT ^et. 25 

saw these, I told him they were his best, but he had 
touched them up aftelvards/' 

" Th* TioUt in her greenwood bower, 

Where birchen booghi with hueli mingle, 
May boMt itaelf the fnirect flower 
In glen or oopM or toxmt diiyle. 

** Though fair her genu of unie hne 

Beneath the dewdrop'e weight reoliniag, 
I >e wen an eye of loreUer bine 
More eweet through waiaej lustre thiuing. 

" The nmimer eon that dew ihall dry, 
Ere yet the gun be put iti morrow, 
Nor longer in my false love's eye 
Bem^ned the tear of parting sorrow I " 

In turning over a volume of MS. papers, I have found 
a copy of verses, which, from the band, Scott had evi* 
dently written down within the last ten years of bis life. 
They are headed "To Time — by a Lady;" but cer- 
tain initials on the biusk satisfy me that the authoress 
was no other than the object of his first passion.^ I 
think I must be pardoned for transcribing the lines which 
had dwelt so long on his memory — leaving it to the 
reader's fancy to picture the mood of mind in which the 
fingers of a gray-haired man may have traced such a 
relic of his youthful dreams : — 

" Friend of the wretch oppress'd wllJi grief, 
Whose lenient hand, though slow, inpplies 
The balm that lends to can relief , 
That wipes her teui — that checks her nghs I 

** T is thine the wounded soul to heal 

That hopeless bleeds from nomiw*n smart, 
From stem misfortune's shaft to steal 
The barb that lukles In the heart 

1 A Tery intimate friend both of Scott and of the lady tells me thst 
these Tflises were great favorites of hen — she gave himself a copy of 
them, and no doubt her recitation had made them known to Scott — but 
that bf believes them to have been composed by Mrs. Hunter of Norwich. 

— {i8a9.) 



And jiOTUKl Toatl,',g.y „ig„ i, „'; . 

^ IWP.'. T«, d«M. ,«I^/„' ,^ , 


»ilk her hMrt of uuw , 

No tionu !■.„«« g^T"' 

BM take th. U»n. tlut •. in my h J^' 

W^wt'.?"' ""^ "'"•"P *• -tad f 
Aod laUl Ui, d„„rt pM, onkiod ? 
" To me thy tediou. feeble pace 

With „gh. 1 ra» mom'. blMhW f^ 
And h.d miM e,„d.^ withm/tjl^'.. 


The oo™ of tm. lore oerer did ran miooth 1 -- 

at which love i, formed for^ fi~S^ ♦• ?"* P*""^ 

of ite being brought to a h^^y L Je -^f ""t ^T^ 
fioial society oPMsea m««v 1" , * "*** °* "ti- 

«»lymarrile?^rd t^M. '''''''*^ obstruction, to 

--Ho do not ,00. bac. in^ec^^to^X^^';! 









JET. 25 

their yonth, at which a sincere and early affection was 
repulsed or betrayed, or became abortive from opposing 
oircnmBtances. It is these little passages of secret his- 
tory, which leave a tinge of romance in every bosom, 
scarce permitting us, even in the most busy or the most 
alvanced period of life, to listen with total indifference 
to a tale of true love." 






^T. 15 

1 " ' 


If it vera not that etiquette and I wera constantly at war, 
I flhoold think myself very blamable in thus trespauing against 
one of its laws ; but as it is long since I forswora its dominion, 
I have acquired a prescriptiTe right to act as I will — and I 
shall accordingly anticipate the station of a matron in addressing 
a young man. 

I can express but a very, very little of what I feel, and 
shall ever feel, for your unintermitting friendship and attention. 
I have ever considered you as a brother, and shall now think 
myself entitled to make even larger claims on your confidence- 
Well do I remember the dirk conference we lately held to- 
gether ! The intention of unfolding my own future fate was 
often at my lips. 

I cannot tell you my distress at leaving this house, wherein 
I have enjoyed so much real happiness, and giving up the ser- 
vice of so gentle a master, whose yoke was indeed easy. I will 
theref ora only commend him to your caro as the last bequest of 
Mary Anne Erskine, and conjure yon to eontinne to each other 
through all your pilgrimage as you have commenced it May 
every happiness attend you I Adieu I 

Your most sincere friend and sister, 


Mr. Erskine writes on the other page, "The poems 
are gorgeous, but I have made no bargain with any book- 
seller. I have told M. and M. tl^at T won't be satisfied 
with indemnity, but an offer must be made. They will 
be out before the end of the week." On what terms the 
publication really took place, I know not. 

It has already been mentioned that Scott owed his 
copy of Btirger*s works to the young lady of Harden, 
whose marriage occurred in the autumn of 1795. She 
was daughter of Count Briihl of Martkirchen, long 
Saxon ambassador at the Court of St. James's, by his 
wife Almeria, Countess-Dowager of Egremont. The 
young kinsman was introduced to her soon ffter her 


plied hiM wiS mClXd""r"- ^.^'•'^ '"P- 
Burger, and the rift ofT^A ."'.•'^'"' '*»'■''» 

MS marked nse"™^!^^?.'''''^-'^^^ 
|ke their original,, but he al«, veTifi J af tT. ^™" 

and the song from Clandina Ton ViUa BeUa H. ~. 
g»tion. of a dUta^^dll: ^.''.""""'S."'"" -°any "obli- 

I i^nhffc ""whetrtr "'f "^»°'' "»' 
tant. He nwd m 7 Iw ^^ "*" '""^ "■»»» ■«'Por- 

leffM nf !.«, . ""*'•"» op; that she used the Drivi. 




jtr. 25 


ful and awkward; but there were from the flrat such 
gleams of raperior lenie and kpirit in bia oonveraation, 
that I was hardly aurpriaed when, after our acquaintance 
had ripened a little, I felt myaelf to be talking with a 
man of geniua. He was most modeat about himself, and 
showed his little pieces apparently without any conscious- 
ness that tbey could possess any claim on particular at- 
tention. Nothing so easy and good-humoied as the way 
in which he received any hints I might offer, when he 
seemed to be tampering with the King's English. I re- 
member particularly how he laughed at himself, when I 
made him take notice that ^ the little two dogs,* in some 
of his lines, did not please an English ear accustomed to 
* the two little dogs.* '*' 

Nor was this the only person at Mertonn who took a 
lively interest in his pursuits. Harden entered into all 
the feelings of his beautiful bride on this subject; and 
his mother, the Lady Diana Scott, daughter of the last 
Earl of Marchmont, did so no less. She had conversed, 
in her early days, with the brightest ornaments of the 
cycle of Queen Anne, and preserved rich atores of anec- 
dote, well calculated to gratify the curiosity and excite 
the ambition of a young enthuaiaat in literature. Lady 
Diana soon appreciated the minstrel of the clan; and, 
surviving to a remarkable age, she had the satisfaction 
of seeing him at the height of his eminence — the solitary 
person who could give the author of Marmion personal 
reminiscences of Pope.* 

On turning to James Ballantyne's Memorandum (al- 
ready quoted), I find an ascount of Scott's journey from 
Bosebank to Edinbtirgh, in the November alter the Bal- 
lads from Biirger were published, which gives an inter- 
esting lotion of his literaiy zeal and opening ambition at 
this remarkable epoch of bis life. Mr. Ballantyne had 

^ Mr. Seott o? Hardfln^R riffht to the pwnge ot Polwarth, •■ npre«nt- 
ing, tluDDgh hia mother, tlw Una of Marahmont, waa alloved by the 
House of Lords in 1835. 


inmmer of 179fi t^ 1 ^ , ^r^'^SV lutened, n the 
>^^y^J^S"^J^^« *^ of 

popular dramatist and noyZJ th« Uh~ '?'"' * 

far greater merit, but "ItiU ™„ ^ ' ' ''°™"" »* 
8-i»bed," »y, th; Mlo^dum LoT^""'. ''?'"• 
moral, legal, political »nT^i™ ^ "*' "'J """s* 

hia t-Jentf^aC^X^^ftTtSf "Ir'-"' "'"''='' 
captivating ffi/S WimlT^'th" ™'T 

V^«o^r Balla„tp.econtin7er"I sa^ttX^r 
«.d Wng anx.ou. to hear whatever I eould XS 

i!:a3om fi^-nS^tir t:f "^S 

^tinguished by the cWmessTfr^";, J^'- .^J 
M of tnumphant confidence in the truth oi Zr7Z 

foark,sne« of a ve.7 young maL, Ve result it taf I 

Hl™f^ a! ir^Y''"" ""*"'' '■"» ""y contemplation 
Holcroft at this tmie was a flne-looking, livelvnZ nf 
g«>en old .ge. somewhere about sixty.^ GStme 

^ neStUoMail. 




I <ti 


9ja SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. 15 

twenty yetn younger, wh mon ihy ud leeerred. A* 
to me, my delight and enthniiaun wen boundleit." 

Aft«r ntarning home, BalUntyne made another jour- 
ney to Olaigow for the purohaie of typea; and on enter- 
ing the Kelio ooaoh for thii pnrpoae, "It would not be 
•••y." »y» he, "to ezpreu my joy on finding that Mr. 
Soott was to be one of my partner* in the carriage, the 
only other paaaenger being a fine, stout, muioular, old 
Quaker. A very few miles reestablished us on our an- 
cient footing. Travelling not being half to speedy then 
a* it it now, there was plenty of leisure for talk, and 
Mr. Scott was exactly what is called the old man. He 
abounded, at in the days of boyhood, in legendaty lore, 
and had now added to the stock, as bis recitations showed, 
many of those fine ballads which afterwards composed the 
Minstrelsy. Indeed, I was more delighted with him than 
ever; and, by way of reprisal, I opened on him my Lon- 
don budget, oolleoted from Holcroft and Godwin. I 
doubt if Boswell ever showed himself a more slilful 
Reporter than I did on this occasion. Hour after hour 
passed away, and found my borrowed eloquence still flow- 
ing, and my companion still hanging on my lips with un- 
wearied interest. It wm customary in those days to 
break the journey (only forty miles) by dining on the 
road, the consequence of which was, that we both became 
rather oblivious; and after we had reentered the coach, 
the worthy Quaker felt quite vexed and disconcerted 
with the silence which had succeeded so much conversa- 
tion. 'I wish,' said he, 'my young friends, that you 
would cheer up, and go on with your pleasant songs and 
tales as before: they entertained me much.' And so," 
says Ballantyne, "it went on again until the evening 
found us in Edinburgh; and from that day, until within 
a very short time of his death — a period of not less than 
flve-and-thirty years — I may venture to say that our in- 
tercourse never flagged." 
The reception of the two ballads had, in the mean 



HIM. b«.n favonble, In hi. own oirole .t leiri -n.. 

of popular poetry „ the«, verVe. «voJed wo^dhL™ 
be^ enough to produce lenient eritie. for to i^erfo™ 
tai-^taon.. Many, a. we have .een, «nt forth^pi", 

m^t be thought better thu. Seotf. in particuLr p^" 
m«m; but, on the whole, it «em. to have been felt anj 
~knowledged by tho« be.t entiUed to LlTe h^t^e 
Wed the pdm. Meantime, we n.„.t n" forlt tl^t 
&od«.d had let that ve^ year the great po:^^Bu^ 
-her glory and her .hamo. It i, at least V be hop<^ 
^w l^rw"""^*^'/' ~lf-reproach, a, well „ rf 

Zf tW ^' Tj' '' f/'™t». it » agreeable to know 
tioL^l ^ ""'"'"^ •■'' """«' "■'»• the most affeeT 
tionate concern were among the first to hail the promiw 
of . more fortm»te 8ucce»or. Scott found on buZu 

two of Burns s kmdest and wisest friends: — 



for iL » ^7^ ^« y"""^ ""•*"' "yl*" thank. 

«tr ^ ^"' "' ' ^^ "'^- o" «■'■" " Sif" from tTe 
«A«. The other two I duUl td.e *e earliest opportumty of 
ta«unmttmg to .friend in EngUnd. -ho, I hope.^Ly b7i^ 
rtrumentJ n. making their merit, mere generaUy know^ « i" 



434 SIR WALTER SCOTT mt. aj 

ttnw of thtlr flnt uppwuwM. In • (ew wMkt, ' «m foUy pn- 

•nirilMl tlMjr will Mig«(t pablu attmtion to tho tmoit ntant 

d jroar witliM, without tlM «id of u; rMonmu, dation wliM' 

•Ttr. I enr am, Dmv Sir, jroon noat trnljr, 


Oasoihuti, Wi*«1>j ( 

TO TBI um. 

D»*» 8l», — On mjr ntarn from CwdmM, when I* hwi 
Iwon for * week, I found jronn of the 14th, which had raral^ 
loitered bjr the waj. I thank jroa oioet eotdialljr for your pra- 
•ent I meet with little poetey nowaday! that touehea mj 
lieartt but jrour tranilationi excite mingled emotiona of pity 
and terror, iniomuoh, that I would not wish any penon of 
weaker uenrea to read William and Helen before going to bed. 
Great muit be the original, if it eqnale the trantUtion in energy 
and pathoi. One would almoat luapeot you liare need aa mneh 
liberty with Burger as Macphenon waa tuapected of doing with 
Oiaian. It iM, however, easier to bacfctpeir you. Sober reaion 
rejects the machinery as unnatural ; it reminds m^, howerer, 
of the magic of Shakespeare. Nothing has a finer effect than 
the fvpetition of certiiin words, that are echoes to the sense, aa 
much as the celebrated lines in Homer about the rolling np and 
falling down of the stone : Tramp, tramp I $pUuh, ipUuk I is 
to me perfectly new ; and much of the imagery is natuTi). I 
shonld consider this muse of yours (if you carry the intrigue 
far) more likely to steal your heart from the law than eT*n a 
wife. I am, ^tut Sir, your moat obedient, humble serrant, 

Jo. Baiuat. 
OoRiaTTU, SOlh NoremUr, 1798. 

Among other literary pvrMDi at a diatance, I may 
mention George Chalmers, the celebrated antiquary, with 
whom he had been in oorreipondenoe from the be^ning 
of this year, supplying him with Border ballads for the 
illustration of his researches into Scotch history. This 
gentleman had been made acquainted with Scott's large 
collections in that way by a common friend, Dr. Somer- 
ville, minister of Jedburgh, author of the History of 


Qm«i Annei; ud th« numeroo. MS. oopin oommonl. 

iSlJ^'n ^';»^'"*.7*,»" •» «~t t~»port. .bout Soott-. 
T.7r i# V ''•*J"';r """"g"""* «•«»• from Mr. 
2m ""'"'''• •''"••'' »•» 8"» tnuulator of the 

ThT oZ ^''";?^"" - 'ri'k '«"' -"ch glow I fuZld 
Th. ChM. _ „ W.U. how moch Jimn I cm, to Wini™ „a 
Hd.n Of U,. Utf, I wiU «j, ,„,UU„g, p^ „igh7J^„ 

P^« « W.U „ with y«, „, hi. „it « W.U « with M^ 
_ SpuMr. I Ilk. ,eFy much the nwumnce of 

but of WiUi.m Md Hekn I hrf rwolyrf to nr nothing. Let 
». «tan. to Tl.e Ch«e. .. which the metric rtJ» rtyl'^pl.^:. 

m^.t ^*'?"*',''"'"°' ""P""- Thi- "Te le". too 

• .^ "I^^J*/' of thi. J „d it »em. peculiwly incongm- 
J m U« balUd- where h.bit h.. taughVu. u, e^xpect .C 

Jwkra - "* ''*'''*" '°° "•"'^ ""' P<"»P<"». I •!«'»" 

" Tlu monitalB mImm itaitUni nke — 
And for dvTotion'i chonl iweU 
Eiohuga tin nida duconbnt naJM — 
FjU FamiiH marka die muldaiiimt tiioM 
Witl.»IdD.q«l,'i.Tntad.j!;|?_ * 
«nd perh.pi on. or two more. In the twenty-flmt .tmz., I 

hta^^L^e h.,. u™ ki,jdl, .cat to m. by hk ^ofth. ..U-taw^ phj! 
"*mo« Ch.1... CoU^ , f„„ ,u,b „ . ^, ^ W 

.«dta.. .i„ui. «mon ,k.. h. ,M „,,.rf. of right,.,,,, ^^Z 
Jiid««' dnu>„ .tUmrdM h. w.. U.O.V th. gt,M of th. ooipu,. 

M I 

236 SIR WALTER SCOTT jet. 25 

prefer Burger's trampling the com into ehaffand dutt, to yoor 
more metaphorical, and therefore leu pietnresque, "dertmctiTe 
sweep the field along." In the thirtieth, " On whirlwind's pin- 
ions swiftly borne," to me seems less striking than the still di»- 
spparition of the tmnult and bustle — the earth has openeo, and 

he is sinking with his evil genios to the nether world as he 

approaches, dumpfnatmht a wie einfemea Meer—it shonld 
be rendered, therefore, not by " Save what a distant torrent 
gave," but by some sounds which shall necessarily excite the 
idea of being AetUprung — the sound of simmering seas of Are 
— pinings of goblins damned — or some analogous noise. The 
forty^venth stanza is a very great improvement of the original 
The profanest blasphemous speeches need not have been soft- 
ened down, as, in proportion to the impiety of the provocation, 
increases the poetical probability of the final punishment I 
should not have ventured upon these criticisms, if I did not 
think it required a microscopic eye to make any, and if I did 
not on the whole consider The Chase as a most spirited and 
beautiful transhition. I remain (to borrow in another sense a 
concluding phrase from the Spectator), your constant admirer, 

W. Tatlob, Jun. 
NoBWiCH, 14th DwMmber, 1796. 

_ The anticipations of these gentlemen, that Scott's ver- 
sions would attract general attention in the south, were 
not fulfilled. He himself attributes this to the contem- 
poraneous appearance of so many other translations from 
Lenore. "In a word," he says, "my adventure, where 
so many pushed off to sea, proved a dead loss, and a 
great part of the edition was condemned to the service 
of the trunkmaker. This failure did not operate in any 
unpleasant degree either on my feelings or spirits. I 
was coldly received by strangers, but my reputation be- 
gan rather to increase among my own friends, and on the 
whole I was more bent to show the world that it had neg- 
lected something worth notice, than to be affronted by 
its indifference; or rather, to speak candidly, I found 
pleasure in the literary labors in which I had almost by 
accident become engaged, and labored less in the hope of 


for the m«der of ri a ?°' " ''"*°"^"> 

convey money weeklvf«^rVl ''""^'' ^"'PWed to 

the carrier to snen,) fl,. r^*™- Mackean inrited 
family worship t a ^^Tlt '" '°""' """''-'"^ 
then, whUe his friend wL I •i.'^'""'^' ^""°" ""d 
a»d ahnost seve«d to h^ ZTw'^^T^^^''^ '''°'' 
of a razor. I have W^^!!^ ^]^ ^^ ^^ <"■« »t">ke 
mou8 air which ^e „„T ^" ^"'^"^ ">« »a'""!'°o- 

-preservTi1h^„XutTe"""*:'"'r''"""8 •■" '""^ 
who believed hH^L^^'^.* °^ " ''"™''* P*""-. 
muUtion of crSrbvl **:" ,^\™«d '"'to hi, aocu! 
bolical influenc^ a^d ™ r™''*""f''^ ^^^'o- »f ^ia- 

wiaruy seen beside a collection-plate at a s«.pr^in» 

" oay. All Mackean's account of the murder 
S"imtti,nPa/nUarP,x^^ 1830. 




^T. 25 

t I 

U apocryphal. Buchanan was a powerful man, and 
Mackean slender. It appeared that the latter had en- 
gaged Buchanan in writing, then suddenly clapped one 
hand on his eyes, and struck the fatal blow with the 
other. The throat of the deceased was cut through his 
handkerchief to the back bone of the neck, against which 
the razor was hacked in several places." 

In his pursuit of his German studies, Scott acquired, 
about this time, a very important assistant in Mr. Skene 
of Rubislaw, in Aberdeenshire — a gentleman consider- 
ably his junior,' who had just returned to Scotland from 
a residence of several years in Saxony, wrore he had 
obtained a thorough knowledge of the language, and ac- 
cumulated a better collection of German boolu than any 
to which Scott had, as yet, found access. Shortly after 
Mr. Skene's arrival in Edinburgh, Scott requested to be 
introduced to him by a mutual friend, Mr. Edmonstone 
of Newton; and their fondness for the same literature, 
with Scott's eagerness to profit by his new acquaintance's 
superior attainment in it, thus opened an intercourse 
which general similarity of tastes, and I venture to add, 
in many of the most important features of character, soon 
ripened into the familiarity of a tender friendship — "An 
intimacy," Mr. Skene says, in a paper before me, "of 
which I shall ever think with so much pride — a friend- 
ship so pure and cordial as to have been able to with- 
stand all the vicissitudes of nearly forty years, without 
ever having sustained even a casual chill from unkind 
thought or word." Mr. Skene adds, "During the whole 
progress of his varied life, to that eminent station which 
he could not but feel he at length held in the estimation, 
not of his countrymen alone, but of the whole world, I 
never could perceive the slightest shade of variance from 
that simplicity of character with which he impressed me 
on the first hour of our meeting."' 

* [James Skene, eon of George Skene of RnbisUw, ttm born in 1T75.1 
' [Betide the memoruida placed by Mr. Skene in Lockbart's iundi and 



«t the example," say, Mr stl. -k. •^'" """^ '^ 

■f; iif 

I' .. 

940 SIR WALTER SCOTT jbt. aj 

"The part of quartermaster," says Mr. Skene, "waa 
purposely selected for bim, that he might be spared the 
rough usage of the ranks; but, notwithstanding his in^ 
firmity, he had a remarkably firm seat on horseback, and 
in all situations a fearless one: no fatigue ever seemed 
too much for him, and his zeal and animation served to 
sustain the enthusiasm of the whole corps, while his 
ready ' mot a rire ' kept up, in all, a degree of good- 
humor and relish for the service, without which the toil 
and privations of long daily drills would not easily have 
been submitted to by such a body of gentlemen. At 
every interval of exercise, the order, sit at ease, was the 
signal for the quartermaster to lead the squadron to mer- 
riment; every eye was intuitively turned on ' Earl Wal- 
ter,' as he was familiarly called by his associates of that 
date, and his ready joke seldom failed to raise the ready 
laugh. He took his full share in all the labors and duties 
of the corps, had the highest pride in its progress and 
proficiency, and was such a trooper himself as only a very 
powerful frame of body and the warmest zeal in the cause 
could have enabled any one to be. But his habitual 
good-humor was the great charm, and at the daily mess 
(for we all dined together when in quarters) that reigned 

£!arl Walter's first charger, by the way, was a tall 
and powerful animal, named Lenore. These daily drills 
appear to have been persisted in during the spring and 
summer of 1797; the corps spending moreover »ome 
weeks in quarters at Musselburgh. The majority ot the 
troop having professional duties to attend to, the ordi- 
nary hour for drill was five in the morning; and when 
we reflect, that after some hours of hard work in this 
way, Scott had to produce hunseli regularly in the Par- 
liament House with gown and wig, for the space of four 
or five hours at least, while his chamber practice, though 
still humble, was on the increase — and that he had 
found a plentiful source of new social engagements in hi» 



total mtermi«i„nZw d,ir •**» /"""^ "Bering 
book, afford am^le e^]»ce «»™»Po-denoe and note- 

w« of it«lf a sTrSTeWdencroVht -.r"'"'^ ^'"^ 
he mu,t have, i„ ,p J„f thla„d rf ^^^l?' '^'^^ »»" 
'tanoes, persisted in what was the l!!. """*"■ "'«'""'• 
earlier life, namelv thrlw * i*' ™'*°'° "* »« tU 

night to »C7s;ud;/r'l"n:lu*''J^r ■'""<''«''' 
"nan, and in more V^ioed » J^v ' ^"' ^ " ?»""« 
a good allowance of sW a^f L'"' "r"""'"- paired 

^ it, «ying, "He w„?ntK'^Th?h%"""'"'r' 
aeven hours of utter iin~>r^ " "an if he had not full 

■nindandten.plrlttwereTrs"'"'!,'"^' "^ ''''<"« 
most fervent Station ^d "'.'^' Pf""!, in a state of 

ter. His transSroTsSl? "* '"^T^^ed over mat- 
« marked "ITstz-" W ^^^l 9?''° "^ ^i'telsbach 
finished in the latter year Th?"'^' ^ ""'"''•«'«' '' -»« 
?f Meier's Wolfred of Soml^^ ° T """'"'"''■ff ^' 
i» dated 1797; and, I think rt^' \'*™°* »* Chivalry, 

cau«,tosusA thkt aoSinot^wLr"?^''''^ 
feet note-book, these (as^ m.,.?!. f^ *° '" '"'^ i^Pe'- 
i-theverysea^n^^ttltejT """ ««-°'P«»i«> 

4.\^" "''rrtr:?e,to;;;^r^ ^-"- -^ 

Moleat Rosebank, indicate V,T-.T^®"' "«i ^» 
collection of coins' ^"'^.""^^"f^r'" " "^ 
» few extracts from his p^Lt^Hj'^ ""^ "^^ 
»iU at all events amu«, thi , °?**-''»<>''. "me of which. 
Light Horse:- ^' ''""™" <>* l-c Edinburgh 

«o:Sa;^^ter^dll^/:»•' „-'^. -^ ^^^ 



'■ I 

mnrderad bleeds at the toooh of the murderer, and I Me 
little else that directly touches Philip Stanfield. He was 
a very bad character, however; and tradition says, that 
having insulted Welsh, the wild preacher, one day in 
his early life, the saint called from the pulpit that Ood 
had revealed to him that this bhisphemous youth would 
die in the sight of as many as were then assembled. It 
was believed at the time that tiady Stanfiehl had a hand 
in the assassination, or was at least privy to her son's 
plans; but I see notiiing inconsistent with the old gentle- 
man's having committed suicide.^ The ordeal of touching 
the corpse was observed in Germany. They call it bar- 

"March 27. — 

Gat HTCi own hard •ggi, or own tUa kds I 
For they mad* their «ggt thin wi' hotter, 
And their kale thiefc wi' bread. 
And the Mere o( FaU they made gnde kala 
On Fridayi when the; faeted ; 
They nerer wanted gear enoogh 
Ae lang aa tlieir neighhonia' laated.* 

"Fairy-rings. — N. B. Delrins says the same appear- 
ance occurs wherever the witches have held their Sab- 

"For the ballad of ' Willie's lady,' compare Apuleius, 
lib. 1. p. 83. . . . 

" April 20. — The portmanteau to contain the follow- 
ing articles: 2 shirts; 1 black handkerchief; 1 night- 
cap, woollen; 1 pair pantaloons, blue; 1 flannel shirt 
with sleeves; 1 pair flannel drawers; 1 waistcoat; 1 pair 
worsted stockings or socks. 

"In the slip, in cover of portmanteau, a case with 
shaving-things, combs, and a knife, fork, and spoon; a 
German pipe and tobacco-bag, flint, and steel; pipe-clay 

> See partienlan of Stanleld'aeaaa in Lord Fonntalnhall'a Chronolosiad 
Nxa of Scodii* AJmn, 1880-1701, edited by Sir Waltar Seott 4to, 
Edinbnigh, 1822. I^. 23S-236. 


article., '^'" ' """"-P'oker, «,d other 1««, 

the t^^izt:^ r^ trr:™"' '»"«> •«>- 

bad weather. Bes de^?fc^ . '^^ "" » •"■■& "arch or 

Propowd as a difficult ^L rtll^ Liverpool) being 
off thi, verse extempor^ 1.^/^ ^l Yl ?""*■" »■'' 

'Happy lb. JenUMOT, 


I 'm mm to yon 

Tom luly 'g troe 

" 24 - • 1, jl.'iil of B«k„bri», li« .^ U^ ,^ . 
' SonHi of SooH'. mort iiitimtt. friend. « tk. i: 
*^P<»i to ■ympntii.e will. HwTj. *°™?' «"«•, were by no meane 
"«l»r in April, 1797 : " By"h, C^^- 'ti!l'''r° *"• ""'- » 
'■*• Not .n idT^ 1^" ""T!; o» W. taUl in ^h^. 
-InAn. to «n,e d-^tZr^' 7', J"^ j^ ""^ "" ■- ■"' " 
Tonr nrorde-by dnrie 61™^ .i • T ,''°° °' "» CayJ,y_.D«w 

I do abont «„ ,b„,. rf E^Uet » .Tr^ ; '??" *J* """^ *« 
konnnfT on di day.' date. I m^ rt .„ .v^ ' ?''" '"»" "'■••K" of 

• \i 



XT. 15 

Four of my mm kid It oa nj wan*. 
I WM maa of my mMt* aad mMtor of my wtfo. 
Ami Viwmi in mlm •la houo wilboot moiklo ttiito. 
Oif thou Wit • iMttw maa ia Iby timo tluu I waa la mlao, 
Tak tUa ataaa off my vama, aad lay It npoa thina.* 
"29. — Mario CaaaoboaoaSpirita. . . . 
** S6. — * TbaN law wa laaniad Mana'a goldaa tomba ; 
Tha way ha cat aa EagUah mila ia laafth 
Thoiow a rock of atoaa la oaa aight'a apaoa.' 

"Chriatopher Marlowe's Tyagicall History of Dr. 
Faustus — a very remarkable thing. Grand subject — 
end grand. . . . Copied Propheoy of Merlin from Mr. 
Clerk's MS. 

"27. — Read Everybody's Business is Nobody's Busi- 
ness, by Andrew Moreton. This was one of Defoe's 
many aliaau — like his pen, in parts. . . . 

' To Catkbart, Car, aad CoIUaiwood, to Shifto aad to Hall ; 
To eTary gallaat gaaarona haart that for Kiog Jamaa did falL' 

"28. — . . . Anthony-a-Wood. . . . Plain Proof of 
the True Father and Mother of the Pretended Prince 
of Wales, by W. Fuller. This fellow was pilloried for 
a forgery some years later. . . . Began Nathan der 

"Ju)ie 29. — Read Introduction > a Compendium on 
Brief Examination, by W. S. — viz., William Stafford 
— though it was for a time given to no less a W. S. than 
William Shakespeare. A curious treatise — the Political 
Economy of the Elizabethan Day — worth reprinting. . . . 

"July 1. — Read Discourse of Military Discipline, by 
Captain Barry — a very curious account of the famous 
Low Countries armies — full of military hints worth note. 
. . . Anthony Wood again. 

"3. — Nathan der Weite. . . . Ddriut. . . • 

"5. — Geutenberg's Braut begun. 

"6. — The Bride again. Ddriut" 

The note-book from which I have been copying is 
chiefly filled with extracts from Apuleius and Anthony-a- 



SlrpTpl^'i" ttr> » ■?- -y. on the .„b. 
would V'^l^^Z e ' b^' " -"un-tiUtM. the ^Trd 

^ow. that he made S^^S^;*^* '• -T '«f'»? "-e, and if 

be wa.r^CXtthrreSTf'^^^^ '"--O- 
take a house in Keswi-t »i*i,^ -^ "* '^'"' »« to 
»»« of aU {^y^'"2 themtentionof .pending 
(March, >pril mr.^ r* "" '""*" "> Scott 
that he .hoSSe'Td'' '1 "'P"""™' "' """der 

-, to the HiXr«f Sco'Zd'' .^XeV' '"' ^'^■ 
precpi.« of which," „y, h" "t 7"° .^^'T crag and 
would be famUiar bV thk t!™!' ^ "" '°"S'°« y™ 

»e^e.mightaln.".it *r foran^Ll'''*-*'; «"**' '''°'- 
another district la,- >.Z!^l^^ acquamtance; " while 

"to give a .we« to 4e flcyT' "" "'" '"^'^ 

After the rising of the Court of S««»;n„ :„ t i c 
x^ordingly «=t out on a toiTtftbrFn. "/?*{• ^" 
^mpanied by hi, brother John^S^ S'f^"' ~- 

iX'^sSdrfaK' iT"'-'^" •«» S: 

and they sl^S fte,! foA / '"''"''"<'?''" """ ^i'torian; 
which sLtt h«J hirfitt ^"' T ^''' '" "■« """"^ of 



fixed their beadqnuttn at the then peaceful and leqaei- 
tenxl little watering-plaoe of OiUUnd, making exour- 
•ioni from thence to the varioiu Hene* of romantic inter- 
est which are commemorated in The Bridal of Triermain, 
and otherwiie leading Tcry much the sort of life depicted 
among the loungera of St. Bonan'i Well. Scott waa, on 
hie flrit arrival in Qilaland, not a little engaged with the 
beauty of one of the young ladies lodged under the same 
roof with him ; and it was on occasicn of a visit in her 
company to some part of the Boman Wall that he indited 
hia lines — 

" T«]u tliM* flowm, whlflh, pupl* wsTi^, 
On tlw ndnad nmpart gnw" tte.^ 

But this was only a passing glimpse of flirtation. A 
weelc or so afterwards commenced a more serious affair. 

Riding one day with Ferguson, they met, some miles 
from Gilsland, a young lady taking the air on horseback, 
whom neither of them had previously remarked, and 
whose appearance instantly struck both so much that 
they kept her in view until they had satisfied themselves 
that she also was one of the party at Gilsland. The 
same evening there was a ball, at which Captain Scott 
produced himself in his regimentals, and Ferguson also 
thought proper to be equipped in the uniform of the 
Edinburgh Volunteers. There was no little rivalry 
among the young travellers as to who should first get 
presented to the unknown beauty of the morning's ride; 
but though both the gentlemen in scarlet had the advan- 
tage of being dancing partners, their friend succeeded in 
handing the fair stranger to supper — and such was his 
first introduction to Charlotte Margaret Carpenter. 

Without the features of a regular beauty, she was rich 
in personal attractions; "a form that was fashioned as 
light as a fay's; " a complexion of the clearest and light- 

^ I owe thif dreimistanoe to the nooUMtion of Mr. CUad RoimII, 
•ecoantant in Edinbnif h, who vm one of the party. PreTiooel; I had 
alwayi anppoaed theae Tenea to hare been inapiied by Mias Caipenter. 



mingled l«rgelyTL™i^*Lf!!^"'?'°" *"•» »»• not 

meat of a French accent AI„?r • ^ "«»mi>«ni. 
remember her ia .CTwm o1 W '" r'""' "•""•» 
could h»KU, have h«.n r • . "^^^ '"'"' "»»^ me. 
tH. fate of LlZnT^^Z^ .""^ '«»- '^^ b„„; 

«.<! chariotrvi:;\u'^ii:'*8t'"'T?°"r»''' 

ther, Charle. Charwnt » W ^ t ^' ""^^ •""■ 
Protestant religior^r^lr:„„^?, ^".^"'^^ in the 
died, which ocSintl'T .''''• ""'7'""' '^o" '"'h" 
M«dame ChZe"^, l!^! ^S"""""* »* *^^ Keyolution, 
flnt to PariT^d L?^' I" r'P* ""^ •"« "''"''ren 

. warm friended ;^^^^t"t1.' "IT ^"^ '"^ 
Downshire. who hadf^X ^ J«te Marqui, of 

France, formed an intL^. ^"" "' '''» '™™'» in 

Charpent^'hX?n^ ' *^« •"<»» '>»ir roof. A 
olution, inveZl "4^)^'^ ," *° "^ '""'^^ Kev- 
a mortgage upon S ^-!^i ."""'"«»- P"' " 
motherfrath!Thi^l^:^7'-f^'^.. On the 
I«ndon, this nobleman took m hZ^Iu^"'"'^ ^ 
«.le guardian to her^hU^^n i^d^L^' °^'*' °* 
-ved in due time. thro:^h hTs^a^te^ir S^tt^ 

Ultlegiri with d»kb,<,„1^^7 "2. f-W-f- A«n«.looW^ 

™k of c, Aefh, « UtUe 1^7. ^Z^^'i^'l'' -^' ' ^ " 
to P. Mumj, D«emb.r 1797 _ T. ^^^ HenjalM to me." —Scott 

"^ of th. old ft„„i iZir^l','"*: r ?^ '" "■•^ 



MT. 26 


nwnt In the mttIm of the Eut Indw Company, in 
which lie liad by thi* time riieu to the luontiTe utiution 
of Commercinl Resident *t Salem. Hie tieter wu now 
making a little exounion, under the care of the lady who 
had iuperintended her education, Miu Jane Nicolion, 
a daughter of Dr. Nioolion, Dean of Exeter, and grand- 
daughter of William Nicolion, Bishop of Carlisle, well 
known as the editor of The English Historical Libraiy. 
To some connections which the learned prelate's family 
had ever since his time kept up in the diocese of Carlisle, 
Miss Carpenter owed the direction uf her summer tour. 

Scott's father was now in a very feeble state of health, 
which accounts for his first announcement of this affair 
being made in a letter to his mother; it is undated; — 
but by this time the young lady had left Oihilsnd for 
Carlisle, where she remaired until her destiny was set- 


Mt deab Motheb, — I should very ill deserve the 
care and affection with which you have ever regarded 
me, were I to neglect my duty so far as to omit consult- 
ing my father and you in the most important step which 
I can possibly take in life, and upon the success of which 
my fu'ure happiness must depend. It is with pleasure I 
think tiat I can avail myself of your advice and instruc- 
tions in an affair of so great importance as that which 
I have at present on my hands. You will probably guest 
from this preamble that I am engaged in a matrimonial 
plan, which is really the case. Though my acquaintance 
with the young lady has not been of long standing, this 
circumstance is in some degree counterbalanced by the 
intimacy in which we have lived, and by the opportuni- 
ties which that intimacy has afforded me of remarking 
her conduct and sentiments on many different occasions, 
some of which were rather of a delicate nature, so that in 
fact I have seen more of her during the few weeks we 



lo«f>r •«J».inUno.7X.kW^J».r» '^" •f*" • much 
^of Wp,^_f -^ «P«>t from u., , d«orip. 

>*" »' « •»«««'• ^m^flt? "^P""** i" the com. 
auit WON you th«t mT^ J ' * ""° "P*"™*. foTl 
«««. -e conL J*Jp74»^«^-' - well „ ^ ,L! 

«»»l»r i. .weet ud oi«rfuI K ^l*" '»" "»* her 
"d. what I know will tH. ' *"; '""'«"'«"Jing good 

W upon the uatu« of J ,,2^" '*"^ ??««" wi'h 
•h« Mn aooommodate hei,l» f^?.. "f • ""I 'he think, 
.hould wi,i h„ ^ hold ~Hf L"'""''"-; '"^'"' ^ 
yon will ewily comprehend T.^' V *"*• *hich, 
~t«v.gantnordegr^iS!"'^'tL™« •'"••'W neither U 
fe-dent upou hHX. ;hotT\"'-"«'' »»«'' 
Mi^.«. i, -eToonriderablell';;' 'f,;™"*'™ « 
i^hi^, iiowever, we mu.t in «„! i ^^''^° » Ve"- 

«»riou.-I me«, toThi falT^ ♦ !«^' "«»«' " P«- 
you know her, yon^!fj^^'"'.'"^ ^-d-^d. when 
thi. circumataiee ch^ Cu«'7"^ ""' ^ "«»«> 

d«tuU con.ideration.whicW:"d' r""' ''"'" P™' 
»n>on imp„„ible for the pr^^^^ "^I'T"" ""der our 

•»d mj own profewion" ^tl. ^'J'"* ^' »«<»»» 
w. will be enabled to hoU tte ^T'- *•)'* ''«'« '•""''t 
l^ay ".dd.aationentiUemerflV """"^ *■""' ""^ 
I h./e "Tt yTutS noS ""T .'^ ?»» 'J"" -"iety 
ate in thi/b«,in „ "'Se^l't*^, "" ^"'"■"■■<'- 
one in.t.nce_yo„ cann^ fan ZL \ 'T"""^' " 
-i. too recent to Ve^tJyLt^°\'°:^!'' ^ "^"de 




JE.T. i6 

goodness of your own heart will prompt, more especially 
when I tell you that she is an orphan, without rdationi, 
and almost without friends. Her guardian is — I should 
say was, for she is of age — Lord Downshire, to whom I 
must write for his consent, — a piece of respect to which 
he is entitled for his care of her, — and there the matter 
rests at present. I think I need not tell you that if 
1 assume the new character which I threaten, I shall be 
happy to find that in that capacity I may make myself 
more useful to my brothers, and especially to Anne, than 
1 could in any other. On the other hand, I shall cer- 
tainly expect that my friends will endeavor to show every 
attention in their power to a woman who forsakes for me 
prospects much more splendid than what I can offer, and 
who comes into Scotland without a single friend but my- 
self. I find I could write a great deal more upon this 
subject, but as it is late, and as I must write to my fa- 
ther, I shall restrain myself. I think (but you are best 
judge) that in the circumstances in which I stand, you 
should write to her. Miss Carpenter, under cover to me 
at Carlisle. 

Write to me very fully upon this important subject — 
send me your opinion, your advice, and, above all, your 
blessing; you will see the necessity of not delaying a 
minute in doing so, and in keeping this business strictly 
private, till you hear farther from me, since you are not 
ignorant that even at this advanced period an objection 
on the part of Lord Downshire, or many other accidents, 
may intervene; in which case, I should little wish my 
disappointment to be public. 

Believe me, my dear Mother, 

Ever your dutiful and affectionate son, 

Walteb Scott. 

Scott remained in Cumberland until the Jedburgh 
assizes recalled him to his legal duties. On airiving in 
that town, he immediately sent for his friend Shortreed, 


'797 ^^^^ 

"pent. "Scott,"he^° .CL Try"™ ''" "" 

and 88t together he^v^^^ ^l *''™'y ''«'«» *" "' - 
the morning." hI To^Ll^ "'> ""'" " '«" "-e in 

eonduot of the parties unT^^ °° '''^ character and 
ties which we^^en't^t"" *^^ ""^ "' »''» "J'*""!- 
^«.e young adr:"S;tre^:f- -^ P^iudices 
that at one stage of the businL W ^j' • "PP*"'' 
templated learing the CTt EdtnT ^ ''^ ''°- 

i-g himself with hirbridTa kn„ '^''> '?•' *"*■'"''''- 
i" one of the colonies * ^ ^^ """ "* "'»* -^P^^i*?) 

™ ''"™ '^°"' "««•. -^VOCATE, KDD^DBOH. 

good to write solonLtltr ff ^ "^ ''"'««'» ^«'y 
nes, can never ca^^j^et J""'* ?.'• **,' '^ '^^ Sool- 
Lord Downshire ^ be t ^^ f ""' P"*^? "riti-g- 
*?e ve^ best ™ n^ ^h^^^h^tr "T ^ " «" '» 
tionate, and full of ^^ i. • ***'" " ^""^ ""^ affec- 

I did not do it wW I It^^^ '"'•' **"'*• "<» yo» believe 

" T7 /'rfnl to think it i, for tfe H„T ""r" ^* 
laagh after ,„ch tremendous thought? jl.T ^ "'""' 
more. I am hurt tn k„a ,, '"""g""/ ^ believe never 
the match a p™dHe ^^-t your friends don't think 

an. you must^hen W mf for tT "^^"^ *" *^«'° 
to think of connecti^ m7^^J ^T *7 """oh P'ide 
equal to them. Prav m,^T ^*°"'y "*" ^ »ot 

mediately-e,p&7^^^^ hL'^** *" "*"* °- '"■ 

'^<' he will, I am surrXo aU I " ^°" ™'^'* '" «"'' 

sure, do aU he can to serve ns. If 



VET. 26 

you really love me, you must love him, and write to him 
as you would to a friend. 

Adieu, — au plaisir de Tous reToir bientot. 

C. C. 


Seuusk, Sth Octobm, 17^7. 
Deab Bob, — This day a long train of anxieties was 
put an end to by a letter from Lord Downshire, couched 
in the most flattering terms, giving his consent to my 
marriage with bis ward. 1 am thus far on my way to 
Carlisle — only for a visit — because, bctwiit her reluc- 
tance to an immediate marriage and the imminent ap- 
proach of the session, I am afraid I shall be thrown back 
to the Christmas holidays. I shall be home in about 
eight days. 

Ever yours sincerely, 

W. Scorr. 


Has it never happened to yon, my dear Miss Christy, 
in the course of your domestic economy, to meet with a 
drawer stuffed so very, so eictremely full, that it was very 
difficult to pull it open, however desirous you might be 
to exhibit its contents? In case this miraculous event 
has ever taken place, you may somewhat conceive from 
thence the cause of my silence, which has really proceeded 
from my having a very great deal to communicate; so 
much so, that I really hardly know bow to begin. As 
for my affection and &iendship for you, believe me sin- 
cerely, they neither slumber nor sleep, and it is only your 
suspicions of their drowsiness which incline me to write 
at this period of a business highly interesting to me, 
rather than when I could have done so with something 
like certainty — Hem I Hem I It must come out at once 
— I am in a very fair way of being married to a very 


-her parents were of '^^^ k V'" •""• ^ ^^<^ 
Carpen^ She w2 ll f„^ "i" "^tio" - the name 

his oonsent-and I dailtl^l, "ht'fi'^r"'''' '■""'"' 
the subiect Hnr fn,* ■ i^ ^^^ *°'"'" "Pon 

sure, uprn an ol a^ve^: frr'^"'' T » S^' »»- 
Commercial Ee°"den?at S T ^f'*'"''^'* ''™"'"- "« « 
upon her antl"^ : |to ' "wt ^ 'l '«"'«'» 
plishmente I shaU oSy say tl«t s^ i '^''"""^ '^<"°- 
sense, with uncommon gLtomtr '^rw ?'^ ^ood 
put to most severe Jl T ^ ?t ' ^','''' ^ ""^ »«'° 
and friendshi7for het' You m ''^T?''/™' kindness 
«st very m„i ^th upon MisH Tf "^'T ^ '"^ 

posLrj'-a^^fi '^.f^ziz'^z'^^ 'I "r «"-■ 

sentiments and mai^ners ff a^^"°,- ^ ' ''" ''"' •*« 
not like t„ be thought XZ^^ttl^ut^'^' 
her prouunc ation in all o,l,:„i. ■ , ^ S"' tmge m 
is at present a C^hlthLT^ the foreigner. She 

as oZ arrangement'^ I^iT Zj'"!'^ T" 
haveoceurred in settling ZZ^l Sornedmcvities 

to certam prepossession! wht^" o'^tn 'eafi'' LT^ 
his adoptuis. On» m.:.. _i- i , easily conceive 

her pro^isiot ^L^Z Sn'" ''"' "'"^l^i"'^ «* 
safe arrival of her rem^n^ f .?? removed by the 
ances of their tm7CS'i'^' i^' T'' "!'^/"'"- 
her brother's sitr^tion^^lZ, ^"^' ■" ^*""' 
other objection was L bMif^S^y '-»'3- ^An- 
eome out of Nazarethr- but as it^:: U^.^.^'Z 



Mt. 16 


xMy, thia has been abandoned. Tan, will be more in- 
terested about other paints regarding her, and I can only 
say that — though our acquaintance was shorter than 
ever I could have thought of forming such a connection 
upon — it was exceedingly close, and gave me full oppor- 
tunities for observation — and if I had parted with Lsr, 
it must have been forever, which both parties began to 
think would be a disagreeable thing. She has conducted 
herself through the whole business with so much propriety 
as to make a strong impression in her favor upon the 
minds of my father and mother, prejudiced as they were 
against her, from the circumstances I have mentioned. 
We shall be ynr neighbors in the New Town, and in- 
tend to live very quietly; Charlotte will need many les- 
sons from Miss B. in housewifery. Pray show this letter 
to Miss B. with my very best compliments. Nothing can 
now stand in the way except Lord Downshire, who muy 
not think the match a prudent one for Miss C. ; but he 
will surely think her entitled to judge for herself at her 
age, in what she would wish to place her happiness. 
She is not a beauty, by any means, but her person and 
face are very engaging. She is a brunette ; her manners 
are lively, but when necessary she can be very serious. 
She was baptized and educated a Protestant of the 
Church of England. I think I have now said enough 
upon this subject. Do not write till you hear from me 
again, which will be when all <d settled. I wish this im- 
portant event may hasten your return to town. I send 
a goblin story, with best compliments to the misses, and 
ever am, yours affectionately, Walter Scorr. 


(TU Ed-Kiitg it a gMiit thai hmtnU Hu Black Farttt in IXnnii^. — 
To be read bj/ a candU partieitiarly tons t" (A.* enujffl} 

O, wbo ridfla by night thro* the woodland n wild ? 
It if th« fond father embnwing his child ; 
* From the Qerman of Qoethe. 



ABd p«. tie., rd^*tt« tS '" ""^ '^' "^i 
tnee, and m,j to my child." 

* ^ "™* "■" — l™ gr«p i, «, cold I " 
B.t, cla^'d to hi. bo«», a. iof„. ^'S'/ 

temptinjjaverBlonof tWK 1,^ ?" -mpudence in at- 




^T. 26 


Lonwii, Oetobw 16, 1797. 
SiE, — I reoeired your letter with pleasure, instead of 
considering it as an intrusion. One thing more being 
fully stated would have made it perfectly satisfactory, 
— namely, the sort of income you immediately possess, 
and the sort of maintenanoti Miss Carpenter, in case of 
your demise, might reasonably expect. Though she is 
of an age to judge for herself in the choice of an object 
that she would like to run the race of life with, she has 
referred the subject to me. As her friend and guardian, 
I in duty must try to secure her happiness, by endeavor- 
ing to keep her comfontable immediately, and to prevent 
her U^ing left destitute, in case of any unhappy contin- 
gency. Her good j<!nse and good education are her chief 
fortune ; therefore, in the worldly way of talking, she is 
not entitled to much. Her brother, who was ^so left 
under my care at an early period, is excessively fond of 
her; ho has no person to think of but her as yet; and 
will certainly bo enabled to make her very handsome pre- 
sents, as he is doing very well in India, where I sent him 
some years ago, and where he bears a very high charac- 
ter, I am happy to say. I do not throw out this to induce 
you to make any proposal beyond what prudence and dis- 
cretion recommend ; but I hope I shall hear from you by 
return of post, as I may be shortly called out of town to 
some distance. As children are in general the conse- 
quence of an happy union, I should wish to know what 
may be your thoughts or wishes upon that subject. I 
trust you will not think me too particular; indeed I am 
sure you will not, when you consider that I am endeavor- 
ing to secure the happiness and welfare of an estimable 
young woman whom you admire and profess to be partial 
and attached to, and for whom I have the highest regard, 
esteem, and respecc. 

I am, Sir, your obedient humble servant, 






Youp last lettAi. wt» A Caklou- Oetobw U 

of perlia^Z^i 7^, 7^"*^'^ " -7 «- t»i„ 
not flattering you to sarvTu a^-Tr*^'' '^' " » 
ing Touwelf A, if T ^ ' "> tie art of t»nneot. 

yo'u/.:S'itiot 'itr^r "!r- n*- t"« » -^^ 

answer to youi letter ^™. •**" *»'*'ng for Lord D.'g 
proper inquiries :S^;^„^lSv-''v-'°/°"-'y 
that when ri,e did offer to ri^e™„'" ^•"t"" "y- 
you refused it -and advLfm/ "* »nformation, 
D,^.. letter. Don'r^S'ha" Cn I't^ ^"^ 
writing very long letters tn h.-r Y^?, . ' ^ ""^ ^^ 
can you tl>Uk thatltra ri™ a^ "^ *';"'" ^o"' «»" 
untU I hear from J^on? a^'""' '^"^ *^ '«'"«' 
and I believe you arel Me ^^t^ " '''"'* ™Po»sible, 
>ne I can be in ^. '.""'o ""t of your reuses to imag- 

n.onth O n.y dS sbT "*'"" *" *"''"*^ "^^t 
this yrea* «S T ^'1^^ ^1'^ "'" """'' «* '* 
•emembranoe- nresenH, !J^'*^ ''^ y" "otAer'a 

You douTre'ntio" ^urlrr*'"' compliments to her. 
-I hope he is Sr I «^ "' ^°" "*" '"^''«" l""" 
from mrbrother r^u m^ X^^ "T .'"^ *" '"»' 
njercial Resident at sl^ ^e ^"u Zd th " ^°°'; 
Charles C. in hi, India lisi Mv f ? ' °™* °* 
«»inSoott. «a„,„rfl^, *• ^y eomphments to Cap- 

c c. 


Indeed, Mr SmH- T „™ u Cabuble, October 25, 

this writiig S tolTvn^ r """""l P'"*^ "''^ "Jl 

yet you stm pe.5^ i^l C Z"? •*'"'*" '*• "' 

return of post O ^„ f, •" '^'*' ""^ that by 
senses. I Tould .m l ^f T "" ^"'t^ ""t of your 
yon« had vou f ?• ' ""'"'^ ^o" '" *>»» "him of 

Toi. . mysrery. i have no reason that can 



JET. 16 

detain me in acquainting yon that my father and mother 
were French, of tlie name of Charpentier; he had a plaoa 
under government; their residence was at Lyons, where 
you would find on inquiries that they lived in good re- 
pute and in very good ttyle. I had the misfortune of 
losing my father before I could know the value of such 
a parent. At his death we were left to the care of Lord 
D., who was his very great friend; and very soon after 
I had the affliction of losing my mother. Our taking the 
name of Carpenter was on my brother's going to India, 
to prevent any little difficulties that might have occurred. 
I hope now you are pleased. Lord D. could have given 
you every information, as he has been acquainted with 
all my family. You say you almost love him ; but until 
your almost comes to a quite, I cannot love you. Before 
I conclude this famous epistle, I will give you a little 
hint — that is, not to put so many musts in your letters — 
it is beginning rather too soon; and another thing is, 
that I take the liberty not to mind them much, but I 
expect you mind me. You must take care of yourself; 
you must think of me, and believe me yours sincerely, 

C. C. 

CAKJiU, Ootobar 26i. 
I have only a minute before the post goes, to assure 
yon, my dear sir, of the welcome reception of the 
stranger.^ The very great likeness to a friend of mine 
will endear him to me; he shall be my oonctant compan- 
ion, but I wish he could give me an answer to a thousand 
questions I have to make — one in particular, what rea- 
son have you for so many fears you express ? Have your 
friends changed? Fray let me know the truth — they 
perhaps don't like me being French. Do write imme- 
diately — let it be in better spirits. Et croyez-moi tou- 
jours votre sincere C. C. 

1 A miniatate of Seott 




to TBK aAJtX. 

■nuoh more ^^Zf P™-?'« ^^'>' y- ""ow, „ 
guided by thlL "ft KT' .*?"" "" """* »« 

them my«lf. Q how JS S,«i 7- "^' " ^ ^™'* '"^ 
wiU it end? And to ™lw'^.T«'P'*«"« "«'-"''«» 

going to the wttlndieTt.™ '-"•"*''• ^'"' *»"' °^ 
unole ,ay you are a hot */j^ """^ ^"'^ '»''" «nd 

that when you have .rh^! -j = ""^ ^ °""* "^'^ve. 
mined to t'hink no C^' ^T^f ?l''™* *''''' '''"*'• 
!»ving accepted your pill " wUl ^^TitllT"' ■"' 
If you ever think again about th.w.T\>. ''^'''"• 
famUy then would iTn.e'Z l^H Jf\ 1°"' 
for a stranger, a person wK, j '°"*^« **«■» 

charm, and^go^l'Se,^.. "°* P""*'' ""^ ""o 

hear y„„r uS^e^^ltg yof a hrhe::^''^'-- ^ ''■'-k I 
am certain of it and I »™ ""t'e^dy young man. I 

t™.. What dlTlur^ir,""''^ K^'' .'" "y »°J»- 
that ahe think, orthe ZZ ' T II'"'?.' ?' ^ '"^ "» 
«.d «-»etie,f„rtrh^pTne, 'of h'e f .^' "'* '«''«■ 
proper, and you think it wo^mM ™.'^*'- ^* " >» 

be-t compJent, ti yo 'rZ^tr^St %r~"'."'' 
«ace Captain Soott I beo. f^ v^ V^ "^ "''' "eqiaint- 

ing i» th'e first ba^l -^^•Tytr/htrr'-, ^'^ -- 
I guess your answer -it wonM J^ ^»°' °" f"^? 

En attendant le vLuhTj ^™ °* "■*""« P'^^""- 
votre oonstante ^ °"" "™^' J* »»'» toujours 

to thi same. 

SiK, - 1 receivpd rt! 1"^ HABT«>at>, OctoW 29, 17W. 



^T. 26 

I think Mill Carpenter's friendi cannot in any way ob> 
jeot to the union you propose. Its taking pUce, when 
or where, will depend upon herself, as I shall write to 
her by this night's post. Any provision that may be 
given to her by her brother, you will have settled upon 
her and her children; and I hope, with all my heart, that 
every earthly happiness may attend you both. I shall 
be always happy to hear it, and to subscribe myself yoni 
faithful friend and obedient humble servant, 



ClRUILK, Koremfaer 4. 

Last night I received the enclosed for you from Lord 
Downshire. If it has your approbation, I shall be very 
glad to see you as soon as will be 'uivenient. I have 
s thousand things to tell you ; bu. Ir t lue beg of you not 
to think for some time of a house. I am sure I can con- 
vince you of the propriety and prudence of waiting until 
your father will setUe things more to your satisfaction, 
and until I have heard from my brother. You muet be 
of my way of thinking. — Adieu. C. C. 

Scott obeyed this summons, and I suppose remained 
in Carlisle until the Court of Session met, which is al- 
ways on the 12th of November. 


Caruslb, NoTsmbn 14. 
Your letter never could have come in a more favorable 
moment. Anything yon could have said would have 
been well received. You surprise me much at the regret 
you express you had of leaving Carlisle. Indeed, I can't 
believe it was on my account, I was so uncommonly 
stupid. I don't know what could be the matter with me, 
1 was so very low, and felt really ill: it was even a trou- 
ble to speak. The settling of our little plans — all 


lookedioniaohine»nie«t-tli.iTi ^ . 

"rioiuly th« 1 wnmSv ^ *" wfleotbg more 

"d with -eryCirE^^ f^ri^^trr-T' 

"•ppmew, i. it not? I .nolJ^k i T" 'y"*" '«" 

•on... which .he ^Urto Lh * ^v""'"" •»• *^«» 
thing, but thi. yoTt, nir'k". *» »» °»de to «me. 
to p««,nt it to you iJT' °^' " '''* '»**■«'• 

father', being biter \,\e^ ^ ?''"''' *" ••*" ■" JO" 
will come at h«rdonTL^W f?^' '"''"'"' 't 
Adieu. Mon,ier j-ri-hi *^' .'"«« di'turb you. 
bleettri. """"""^'"d'StreTotretriahL- 

Ubeiaaante c. C. 

. great WcA ^ t" J l'^," ?"kT ''^''V"''^ »» 
tented with our lot and ^„T.^ ,, T^^ ^""^ *° ^ ««n- 
We shall do venTweU ^ 'i'»8«>eable thoughto. 

your ache,. I think vou LiTt^ .. "^ "™y »" 
«to«« I M n^aZwTt ^w" • ^H° ^ "■» 
bo with you if vou we»l^ ^W ""^ ^ «'«»'" 
«aUy Mieve /Z^^Tthtklfr ^'"'"- °° J"" 


0-ca...,. what^^id.ofiorr.^t'r.^! 







iBT. 16 

tion when yon wiah to hare yonr bonei laid,'^ If you 
were nurried, I thould think yon were tired of me. A 
Tery pretty oompliment h^ore marriage, I hope ein- 
oerely Uut I ihall not live to aee that day. If you elwayi 
hare thoie cheerful thought*, how very pleaiant and gay 
you muit be. 

Adieu, my deareat friend. Take oare of yonnelf if 
you love me, a« I hare no with that you ihould vitit that 
beautijkil and romantic icene, tlie burying-plaoe. Adieu, 
once more, and believe that you are loved very tinoeiely 
by C. C. 

If I could but really believe that my letter gave yoa 
only half the pleasure you expreu, I should almost think, 
my dearest Scott, that I should get very fond of writing 
merely for the pleasure to indulge you — that is saying 
a great deal. I hope you are sensible of the compliment 
I pay you, and don't expect I shall alwayt be so pretty 
behaved. You may depend on me, my dearest friend, 
for fixing as early a day as I possibly can; and if it 
happens to be not quite so soon as you wish, you mutt 
not be angry with me. It is very unlucky you are such 
a bad housekeeper — as I am no better. I shall try. I 
hope to have very soon the pleasure of seeing you, and 
to tell you how much I love you; but I wish the first 
fortnight was over. With all my bve, and those sort 
of pretty things — adieu. Cbablotte. 

1 [" I hid s Tjsit from Mr. HaUbortoa to-dky. and Hk«d turn aD abmtt 
7oar brother, who vu two yflan in hia honsa. H7 fathar ia Mr. Halibnr. 
ton'a relation and ehief, aa b« rcp i eaa u l a a Ter7 old family of that nama. 
Whan joa go to tha aoath of Sootland with me, 70a will ut* their bnry- 
ing-plaee, now all that ramaioa with my father of a rery handaomo 
property. It ia one of the moat beantif ol and romnntio acenes yoo ever 
eaw, among the mina of an old abbey. When I die, Charlotte, you moat 
canie my bonea to be laid there ; bnt we ahall bare many happy daya be- 
foi« that, I hope." — Soott to Miaa Carpenter, KoTnaber 22, 1781, — F»- 
miliar LetterM, yoL i. p, 8.] 


«1»1«. ^.Vw.^W^' »»" ^ "^ •« but . .h.piJ 

«ad it to you dirertlv but „ » ?^ ""' '*«''• ^ "'" 

WedueiS.T torvlr ■ '^*' '"' *""« »l™><ly next 
21.t-0hf my/rC"'* '■r- ""■ "" Thu»<Uy ti 
fo«yer * ' *" ^"' °" '»« d«y I ri«Jl be yo™ 

.»cl. . fright. I ^ould noTut.„'^"-.tXr"'' "" 

wont. «,a cowcripta «,„< ' *""" *"»<' '"<«"» 

A. D. 1771. '^ -timnam ISmo du Augutti, 

' Tb. Momut In tli« tort of Mi_ P. . , . 

"«, both .p„k.. ^ ^.^-f TL^"^' ■ °'^ fc- 1«., I „ 
J~^ aut .«. in I837I...M ." ^^^j ™^ "'*»'-■' •- 



AT. a6 

and I pnmim H will bt nffidnt for ma to ny jow, duit B^tlur I, nor, I 
firmly beliara, any ona of tfaam, tnt hoard aHihar fram Sir Walter, at 
from hilt vifa, or from lOai I^oolaan (who sorviTad tham both) tha •l*y*»t- 
aot hfarc aa to tha mmor in qvaation. Thaio b not an nuiumWni b tha 
praaamd eorraapoadanoa hatwaan Seott, tha Toiuifr lady, and tha Uaiqnta, 
that gina it a ahadow of eonntnanoa. LaaUy, Lady Soott always kapk 
hanffing; by har badaida, and rapeatadly IdMod in bar dying momanti, • 
miniatoia of hor fatbor whioh la now in my banda ; and it ia tha waU- 
paintad likantaa <rf a handacma gentleman— but I am aaiaradtha fa*- 
tniaa bara no raanmbUBoa to Lord Downahira ok any of tha Hjll Unulj.